Available this week is the SparkPeople: 28-Day Boot Camp DVD (Acacia, $16.99), led by SparkPeople fitness instructor and health educator Nicole Nichols, a popular fixture on the SparkPeople.com website. If you’re not familiar with SparkPeople, it’s a totally free weight-loss site that has an excellent food and fitness tracker (also available for smartphones), teams to find like-minded people, recipes and fitness videos.
Don’t be put off by the words “boot camp” — the DVD is geared for any fitness level and it’s customizable with 12-, 20-, and 30-minute workout segments, plus bonus features.
We asked Nichols, known on the site as Coach Nicole, a little about the DVD and reaching fitness goals.
Q. With such successful videos on YouTube, why did SparkPeople decide to do a DVD?
A. SparkPeople.com’s mission is to Spark millions of people to reach their goals and live healthier lives. We are continuously finding new ways to spread our healthy message beyond the online platform alone with things like our mobile apps, books and cookbook and now workout DVDs. The fact that our online videos have been so successful was a sign to us that we could try a new video format to reach people in a positive way.
Not everyone loves to work out in front of their computer, and some have slow connections that make viewing a video online challenging. Plus, for people who haven’t yet heard of our free website, 28 Day Boot Camp is a great way to introduce them to what we’re all about.
Q. What is your approach to fitness?
A. My approach to fitness is to help people feel comfortable and successful. Intimidation is not my style. I create workouts that are doable for the average person, yet offer just a little bit of challenge to keep you interested and getting results. My goal is to help people feel successful where they are right now so that they’ll build momentum and want to come back each day because they feel good about themselves and their progress.
I view fitness as a lifelong pursuit for the health of your body and mind—not just a means to an end that you pick up for a while and then drop off again once you’ve reached your goal of the moment. This philosophy was integral to the creation of “28 Day Boot Camp,” which is designed to get you into a lasting habit of fitness by offering tons of variety, plenty of ways to modify and progress every single move, and an approachable style of cueing and motivation.
Q. What advice do you have for someone who wants to jump back on the fitness bandwagon for the new year but doesn’t want to fall off?
A. You have to be realistic. Start small. Everyone has big dreams and goals this time of year, but more often than not, we bite off more than we can chew and that is the reason we fail year after year. You can’t go from being a coach potato to a gym rat overnight. You can’t go from sedentary or not exercising to exercising for hours a day. It has to start with baby steps. I’m a big proponent of short 10-15 minute workouts to build the habit.
Anyone can fit in that amount of time and it’s realistic for a beginner who is just getting back to it. Commit to just 10-15 minutes for the first few weeks and gradually progress it from there. I created the 28 Day Boot Camp workout plan with this in mind. It starts off with the easier, shorter workouts and then slowly builds as you learn to make exercise a habit. It’s a great way to get started!