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      03.10.2009 14:53
      Very helpful



      It's not bad for the occasional workout, but I doubt it will motivate you much in the long term

      Fitness TV is one of those obscure channels on Sky. I came across it randomly once whilst flicking through channels, and I'm glad I did. It's one of those channels where the number changes randomly sometimes, so I recommend going through the digital channel/tv guide to see what channel number it is for you. At the moment on Sky it's 282.

      With quite a few different programmes available, Fitness TV guides you through exercise routines in the manner of a DVD with routines. At the moment they seem to be showing quite a lot of yoga classes, which I personally enjoy...however, they might do better mixing things up a lot more for variation and to get people hooked.

      The programmes are quite long, often half an hour to an hour, so you really need to set aside time that will be uninterrupted - unless you're lucky enough to have Sky+, in which case you can record and pause at will!

      The programmes seem to be aimed at women - particularly stay at home mums, parents and kids. I say that based on the programmes they seem to show frequently, like toddler and pregnancy yoga. I've found that you really have to plan what you want to watch so as you get the benefit of the entire session and so you don't tune in to attempt pregnancy or kids' yoga if that doesn't apply to you! There is an online schedule at www.fitness.tv to help you, and you can watch online too. Many of the programmes seemed aimed at women, with several programmes about yoga and pilates as well as dance routines.

      In my experience the trainers have English accents, which is a plus to find the American ones grate. The only sessions I've tried (rather than watched bits of!) are yoga ones, and the trainers speak clearly and aren't condescending or corny. They go at a good pace too.

      There are several advantages to this kind of workout. Firstly, you can usually get away with just needing a TV and a bit of floor space. If you're keener, you can buy a yoga mat (use a towel), an exercise ball, weights (or use bottles of water) and a resistance band, but these are rarely needed. Secondly, you don't need to pay for anything other than your digital tv subscription. And thirdly, you can look and wear whatever you like.

      So what are the disadvantages? Like I say, you have to plan in advance what you want to do and when, second is you don't have much control over what you're seeing and doing (unlike with a DVD where you can skip sections, rewind, fast forward - unless you have Sky+). And thirdly, if you really like a routine, unless you record it, you might not see it again. However, this seems unlikely as there are lots of repeats - often annoying if they aren't something you want to do.

      I've got quite a varied collection of DVDs, short videos and exercise games for the wii, and quite frankly Fitness TV could be better. Its American counterpart, Exercise TV (check out www.exercisetv.tv or my review on it) is actually much better. This is because there's much more variation with type of workout and length of session as well as more support from the trainers.


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