Friday, January 15, 2010

Health & Fitness DVD Review: Mel B's "Totally Fit"

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Getting Fit for the New Year?

Originally Published 2/13/09

As evidenced in the news, the numbers of individuals dangerously obese is on the rise as is the increase of people contemplating expensive and risky surgeries to get the bodies they crave. In response, singer, model, dancer, author, producer, and charity advocate Melanie Brown AKA Mel B of the Spice Girls (where she was also known as Scary Spice) decided to offer her own positive blend of humor, optimism, and advice by releasing a health and fitness DVD with the hope of changing both people's bodies and their lives.

As a mother of two and a woman living a hectic lifestyle, Mel empathizes with the challenges women face in trying to juggle all of life's demands. And luckily, given today's horrific economy, her DVD Totally Fit-- which offers two full body workouts along with specific segments that focus exclusively on areas of the body that may be giving the viewer the most trouble-- comes at a much cheaper price than signing an overwhelming and costly gym membership contract.

On the disc, Mel's advice is to build up intensity over the course of four to eight weeks. Offering sharp tips on how to use the DVD in order to program precisely the content a viewer wants in the order they want to watch it and sharing the importance of always including a warm up and cool down to avoid injury, Mel is supportive from the moment the DVD starts. Her compassion is evident right away as she actually reads the entire medical disclaimer aloud before the menu arrives, warning women who are pregnant, those with medical issues or on pain medication, and others to consult their doctor before proceeding and to always stop if they feel faint or unwell.

Utilizing regular household items from soup cans to water bottles to chairs (with possibly the only purchase one will need to make would be a non-slip surface mat if needed), Mel's exercise routine is flexible, articulating that one can change weight from a can of soup or bottle of water or forget it altogether depending on their level and ability.

Additionally, she urges viewers to watch the disc in its entirety before trying anything to avoid injury and therefore become familiar with the workouts. However, like a good coach, she shares that her expectation is that viewers will try to attempt part of the workout on a second viewing. Emphasizing the importance of never taking on more than one can handle, Mel encourages viewers to make a commitment to gradually build towards roughly four work-outs per week by sharing the specially designed exercise routines that Mel continues to do each and every week in her own life.

Breaking everything up into sections-- the disc includes the following: Warm Up, Cardio, Advanced Cardio, Arms, Legs, Bums, Tums, and Cool Down along with a bonus short segment on nutrition advice and recipes to make healthy a healthy breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner that is full of nutrients to help cleanse the body and provide much needed energy.

Throughout, she talks viewers through the workouts by indicating the little things we may be doing wrong from expressing how important it is to keep our stomachs tight, parts of our bodies arched, or to keep knees bent, and always reminding us to breathe. The exercises themselves run the gamut from easy-to-manage to pro as she jokes continuously about the "calm before the storm," in preparing people to burn and sweat, ultimately fulfilling the promise revealed in her press release that, "for anyone with jubbily bits, I'm going to tighten you up, make you laugh and enjoy your workout no matter what level of fitness you are."

Totally Fit is an all-around excellent workout DVD with a wonderful option for interaction in choosing your own routine so you can theoretically design your own gym class as you build stamina each and every week. And while a majority of it still seemed a bit advanced, her nice all-encompassing style incorporates everything from yoga like postures to dance to marching or punching in the air. Likewise, Mel never makes the exercises seem repetitive or dull as the disc continues on, which no doubt is helped by the fact that it works like a considerably less expensive version of a Wii video game in letting you decide and program just how much you want to attempt from one day to the next.