DVD Review: Leslie Sansone's 'Walk Your Belly Flat'

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/15/2010 6:00 AM   :  382 comments   :  133,318 Views

A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Sansone for the dailySpark. Sure, I knew who she was and that our members love her, but I had never actually tried any of the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs that made her the famous fitness guru she is today.

Leslie was kind enough to send me a free copy of her newest title, Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk Your Belly Flat, a 3-mile walk you can do from the comfort of your living room. I busted it out on a cold day that I didn't want to head outdoors for a walk. Want to know what I thought about it? And more importantly, whether it'll help you lose that stubborn fat around your midsection?

If you're not familiar with Leslie's walking DVDs or interested in peeking at this new title, check out this video preview below. (If you have trouble viewing the video, please click here to view it on YouTube.)



What you see in the preview above pretty much sums up all 45-minutes of this routine. This workout would be perfect for beginners, people who have two left feet (or don't enjoy complex choreography), and exercisers who already use and enjoy other DVDs by Leslie Sansone. What I did like about it is that it is entirely doable for people who are just starting out. For beginners to exercise, this DVD would be perfect, and I'd highly recommend it to that audience. The DVD menu allows you to easily pick 1, 2 or 3 miles (about 15 minutes each), so you can gradually progress or choose a shorter workout based on the time you have available. Here are a few other pros and cons worth pointing out:

PROS:
  • Leslie Sansone is great! She was very likeable and relatable. I really appreciated the ways she tried to keep motivating me, by focusing on the importance of doing something for yourself, getting healthy, and blasting belly fat since it can be hazardous to your health. I'm not a huge fan of DVD instructors who focus their motivational messages on looking better or getting "skinny." I liked how Leslie talks you through the workout and offers helpful tidbits.
  • Easy to follow. There is no complex choreography, but there is a little bit of variety besides just marching in place, and I appreciated that. Simple grapevines, forward and backward walks, step touches and similar were used throughout to break up the monotony.
  • Good music. I actually really enjoyed the background music on this DVD. It was upbeat and fun. It made me want to work out!
  • Motivational cues. Leslie offers a lot of encouragement and tips to work at your own level while still following along with her. You can adjust your speed and movement without missing a step, and she never makes you feel bad if you do have to take it down a notch.
  • Safety and form. Leslie provides plenty of cues to remind you to think about your posture and alignment, as well as assessing how you feel (gauging your intensity) throughout the workout. I think this is very important in any DVD, especially for beginners.
CONS:
  • Not for intermediate to advanced exercisers. I'm in good shape, so this workout was not challenging for me. I wore my heart rate monitor and my heart rate did not elevate to an aerobic level even once (it hovered around a low 45% of my max heart rate), despite my efforts to work at a quicker pace than indicated in the video.
  • The belly fat claim. It's true that cardio (aerobic) exercise like this DVD will burn fat from all over your body, including the midsection. But that is only one part of the equation (a reduced calorie diet is the other). There is nothing inherently special about this DVD that will target your belly fat any more than any other cardiovascular workout will, so don't fall for it for that claim alone. If however you do want an easy-to-follow, light intensity workout DVD that burns calories, this is a good choice.
  • The bonus workout. This DVD features a "belly sculpt" workout advertised on the back, but in reality, it was actually just one exercise: the bicycle crunch. It's a great exercise that really targets the abs, but don't expect an entire workout.
  • Kind of boring. I know that plenty of people swear by Leslie's DVDs and use them regularly with great success, but I have to admit that I thought this workout was boring to me. The plain background (that her clothes kind of blend into), the lack of variety in the moves, and the "walk clock" (a new feature that was requested by fans) weren't doing it for me. I had a hard time not staring at the clock and wishing it was over, yet the 45 minutes did go by faster than I had anticipated. However, some people like workouts that are simpler and allow them to zone out, so this might not be a con for everyone. Just beware that you might not enjoy using this DVD for the long-term.
This DVD has overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews on amazon.com, which average around 4.5 out of 5 stars. For less than $8, it's a good buy if you're just starting out with exercise or prefer a low-impact (easy on the joints, non-jarring) cardio workout. I think DVDs like this definitely serve a need for new exercisers who need something they can follow safely and successfully as they build a base level of fitness.

Have you ever used this or any other DVD by Leslie Sansone? If so, what did you think about it?


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