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The Best Workout DVDs for Boomers

These popular titles can help with flexibility, strength, bone health and pain relief

On busy days, it can be tough to make time to attend an hour-long yoga class or get to the gym. The convenience of DVDs and online workouts can’t be beat.
Marcia Noyes, 54, of San Antonio, Texas, credits her improved posture, increased flexibility and broader range of motion from following a gentle yoga DVD for several months.
“I can bend and move so much better as I’m painting a 3,500-square-foot house, an ongoing project for the past year,” Noyes says.
Check out these popular DVDs and find one that’s right for your goals and fitness level. (Always check with a physician before starting any new exercise program.)
Leslie Sansone Walking Series
Known as America’s No. 1 walking expert, Leslie Sansone is a nationally recognized fitness guru and creator of the Walk at Home program. Her DVDs include 4 Mile Power Walk, Burn Body Fat, Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan and many more. You walk in place and perform simple moves, such as stepping side-to-side and leg lifts, all without leaving your living room. Videos are broken out into various mileages from one to five miles so you can choose one to match your fitness level, from beginner on up.

(MORE: Stretch Out and De-Stress With Restorative Yoga)
Rodney Yee’s Yoga
Gentle yoga and stretches are a great way to ease into a daily workout routine (this is the routine Marcia Noyes mentioned). Rodney Yee offers a variety of yoga DVDs, ranging from beginner to energy and stress relief, a Power Yoga collection as well as a Daily Yoga and A.M. and P.M. DVD, all of which get four and five stars consistently on Amazon.
Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program and Workout Program
Stronger Seniors series ranks highest on Amazon for senior exercise DVDs with hundreds of five-star reviews. The instructor’s (Anne Pringle Burnell) vibrant personality and ability make the exercises fun and easy to follow, even for those with health limitations such as osteoarthritis. People who prefer to exercise seated or who have limited mobility feel stronger, more balanced and more flexible. 
Geared toward preventing and treating osteoarthritis, BoneJuvenate consists of a 30-minute exercise program designed to strengthen bones and muscles, work the core, enhance balance and flexibility and correct common postural problems. A certified trainer, a chiropractor and an internist specializing in osteoporosis designed this compilation of exercises, a gentle and relaxing approach to weight bearing and balance.

(MORE: 7 Exercises to Never Do After 50)
Healing Movements System
Joe Pinella broke his neck and back in a catastrophic car accident and was diagnosed quadriplegic. It took him seven years to recover and regain the use of his arms and legs. He now teaches people over 50 exercise programs designed to heal their own injuries. His Healing Movements System is a Western version of Qi Gong and Tai Chi gentle martial arts and is ideal for beginners and those with aches and pains. “It is easy for anyone to do and can be used to get back into shape after long periods of sedentary living,” Pinella says. “It’s also great for arthritis.”
Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews
An occupational therapy practitioner (a licensed medical professional who specializes in function), Suzanne Andrews’ line of fitness DVDs specifically targets people over 50 and includes a new Arthritis Walking Workout line. For those with arthritis, Andrews demonstrates the same therapeutic exercises she teaches in her practice to help people decrease joint pain; for osteoporosis, she provides specific exercises to increase bone density. A variety of DVDs can be found on Amazon.

(MORE: Walking 20 Minutes a Day Might Save Your Life)

Weight Watchers Series
From Yoga for Weight Loss for Beginners, to 10-Minute Belly workout, a Yoga Starter Kit and 7-Day Tone & Burn, the Weight Watchers DVD series caters to beginners on up, making them perfect if you’re looking to start with a gentle workout. Top instructors include Lisa Wheeler, who uses hand weights in an hour-long total body workout that includes upper and lower body plus core, abs and butt.
Element: AM & PM Yoga for Beginners
The best-selling yoga brand at Walmart, the Element Yoga series offers programs that target weight loss; morning and evening workouts and yoga for belly, butt and thighs, with a focus on strength and flexibility. Instructors include Ashley Turner, one of the top yoga teachers in Los Angeles and Elena Brower, a certified Anusara Yoga teacher and founder of Virayoga in New York City.

Next Avenue contributor Linda Melone is a California-based freelance writer specializing in health, fitness and wellness for women over 50.

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