Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles consists of 5 approximately 15 minute cardio walking workouts from Jessica Smith. It also includes a warm up, a cool down and two 15 minute bonus conditioning workouts. There is also a 2:30 minute intro. In the intro Jessica summarizes each of the different workouts and how to use them. You can “play all” which will play everything on the DVD or customize your workout, picking which ever segments you want and organizing them in whatever order suites you. That is what I have been doing when I do these walks; I will put together 3 walks with the warm and the cool down, which equals 55 minute cardio walking workouts. Jessica’s mom Debbie is there showing easier versions some of the exercises and Beth sometimes shows versions that add impact and intensity. When there is 8 minutes left of each segment a count down clock appears, counting down the last 8 minutes of the mile.
Some background: I have been an advanced home exerciser for the past 10+ years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February which radically changed the way I work out and will continue to into the future. First due to a mastectomy a month ago then because of a chemo port implant in my chest that is much more limiting and painful than I was led to believe it would be. And now due to receiving chemo (and the port is still an issue). I have no idea if I will be limited the entire time I have the port or if the pain/discomfort will go away. So please keep that in mind when reading my review. I am forced to do easier workouts than I am accustomed to. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them or that I am not getting a good workout but I am used to sucking air and being soaked in sweat when I finish a workout. These types of workouts obviously do not do that for me (with the exception of Walk 4 if you do the higher impact versions of the exercises). But doing something is better than doing nothing and Jessica always makes exercise enjoyable.
Warm up is 5 minutes and consists of basic walk, toe tapping to warm up your shins, side to side steps, shoulder circles, heel digs, straight arm tricep press backs, heel walk, a leg turning move to warm up your hips
Brain Booster Walk is 15 minutes. This is a pretty low intensity walk with some interesting arms movements. The idea behind this workout is to fire neurons in your brain–so a body and brain workout. I didn’t have a problem with most of them. There is one where you are pointing the thumb of one hand and the pinky of the other in the same direction, then you swap it up. That was actually challenging–my fingers/thumb had a mind of their own! I also wore 2 pound weighted gloves and still didn’t find this very intense. Here are the moves in the order they appear (if feet movement isn’t mentioned then you are just walking/marching in place), some of the moves are repeated during the course of the workout: hamstring curls while tapping heel behind you with opposite hand; changes to tapping heel in front of you; punch one arm overhead while the other punches in front of you and alternate; lateral skater taps while criss-crossing straight arms in front of you; toe tap to one side while punching one arm to side–Jessica creates rep count patterns with this move (4 on one side, 2 on the other side, then this changes to singles each side); speed bag arms circling arms in different directions; reach arms out to side then overhead then 3 claps–then reverse the order; while facing forward walk in a circle; make fists in front of chest and stick thumb out of one hand and pinky of other hand–then switch which fingers are sticking out on each hand; cross kicks while reaching opposite arm overhead; V steps reaching arms straight out to side; reach arms overhead then out to side then press arms back (tricep work).
Belly, Buns & Thighs Walk is 14 minutes. I didn’t really see a buns & thighs focus but that’s because I am comparing it to the types of intense lower body workouts I am accustomed to doing. I didn’t feel any lower body focused work and I certainly had no DOMS the next day. I did see the core focus with the arm movements that involve the obliques. But with that said, I did enjoy this walk a lot. Here are the moves in the order they appear: alternating knee lifts bringing elbow to opposite knee; side steps with wood/cross chop arm; side to side leg lifts; lateral skaters twisting torso/elbows side to side; with arms raised overhead alternate lift knees to side, bringing elbow down to meet thigh; alternate lifting leg behind you; alternating cross kicks while twisting torso/arms; squat as you march in place; walk forward and back with fast mini squats (or squat jumps); hamstring curls with cross/wood chops; puddle jumpers (quick side to side steps w/ balance holds); alternating knee raises w/ torso twists; lateral skaters w/ torso twists; heel digs w/ “funky chicken” arms; alternating side knee lifts.
Power Posture Walk is 15 minutes. The posture aspect of this workout is upper body work–primarily focusing on your upper back. I really liked the back focus in this workout and to get a bit more work out of it you can either hold light dumbbells or wear weighted gloves. You are marching/walking throughout this walk but the primary focus is on upper body moves. **I did this walk a second time and wore 2 pound weighted gloves. It didn’t suddenly make it an intense walk, but I did feel it a lot more in my shoulders and arms. So I will probably continue to wear weighted gloves when doing this walk** The first exercise Jessica has you do as you walk is called a “chicken head” and that means pulling your head back to create a double chin. Now, this irritated me. Jessica did the chicken head of course but her mom barely moved her head and Beth didn’t even bother. Did they think people would think they really had a double chin if they pulled their head back properly? I was just irritated they made zero effort to do the exercise. Anyway, here are the moves in the order they appear: chicken head; letter V overhead w/ arms and pull arms down to letter W; heel digs while pressing straight arms behind you (tricep move); hold arms out straight to side w/ thumbs to ceiling and retract and release shoulders; straight arm circles to sides; walk forward and back while reaching arms overhead and lowering; side toe taps while pushing arms out in front of you; hamstring curls while pulling arms back (start holding arms straight in front of you then pull hands back to shoulders); side to side steps while pushing arms straight out to sides then curling them in to shoulders (keep elbows elevated at shoulder level throughout); side taps while doing slow bent arm chest press with arms; scarecrow arms (arms in goal post, rotate hands down to floor while keeping bicep/elbows at shoulder level); overhead press arms (alternating wide and narrow); cross kick legs in front of you while traveling forward and back; swim arms; step side to side w/ figure 8 arms; high knee march while reaching straight arms forward then pulling back to shoulders; changes to reaching arms overhead then pulling them down to shoulders; step forward while raising other leg behind you, alternate leg, while puling arms back to waist; ends with more chicken heads.
Turbo Charged Walk is 13 minutes. This workout takes the pace up a few notches and adds impact if you want–some jogging, some jacks. The first time I did this walk, I was unable to add the impact due to my situation so I didn’t feel the “turbo” aspect of it as I otherwise might have. But it did seem more intense than the others. The second time I did this walk I did add the higher impact versions of the moves and it definitely increased the intensity. This is the most intense of the 5 walks. Here are the moves in the order they first appear–most of the moves are repeated at least once during the course of the workout: side to side step taps; changes to two steps to each side; changes to zig-zag steps forward and back; march or jog while traveling forward and back and pushing arms overhead; alternate tapping toes to side while doing bent arm side raises; tapping changes to jacks; alternating toe taps while also alternating pressing one arm out to side; low jog or march (in a sort of squat) while raising knees higher; step to side 2x each way while circling arms; lateral skaters while swinging arms side to side; jog or march forward and back on a diagonal; low impact jacks (or full normal jacks); alternating front kicks while reaching arms forward and back; arm reaches change to overhead; jog or march while pushing arms overhead.
Boogie Down Walk is 15 minutes. This was a fun little walk. It really wasn’t very dancy. Not very intense either–a very moderate intensity walk. Here are the moves in the order they first appear–most of the moves are repeated at least once during the course of the workout: alternating toe tap to front; alternating toe tap to side; combine the toe taps–4 to front + 4 to side; side to side step tap; step 2x to each side; alternating heel digs; skater taps w/ alternating arm reaches overhead; alternating side taps w/ shoulder pulls; travel walk forward and back; cha-cha–step forward and back + 3 fast steps; another cha-cha variation–step back and forward + 3 fast steps; alternating cross-over kicks; more cha-cha variations (step to side and back + 3 fast steps); repeat cha-cha but this time when stepping to the side, step back; step 2x to each side while doing bent arm chest presses; cross-over heel digs; diagonal arm extensions while marching in place; travel-step forward and back
Cool Down is 5:30 minutes. Starts with a slow march in place while doing deep breathes, stretching arms overhead. Side to side steps w/ shoulder rolls. Still stepping side to side, clasp hands behind back to stretch chest; changes to clasping hands in front of you and rounding back. Stop marching and alternating reaching/stretching arms overhead; hold side stretches. Standing cat/cows. The cool down ends with more standing stretches that I am not going to break down.
Bonus #1 Strong Feet & Ankles is 15 minutes. Equipment: chair and rolled up towel. Jessica says it is best to do this routine barefoot. This is a very low key workout that I actually felt intensely in my feet. A bit of background–9 years ago I was hit head on by a drunk driver and both of my heels were crushed. I now have 2 plates and 12 screws in each heel. So my feet are already challenged! But I really need to be doing more little workouts like these and I plan to–at least over the next few months when I have to take things down a notch anyway. I did notice that my right foot is much stronger than my left one–which makes sense because the left foot was damaged the worst. I had a much more difficult time doing the exercises on my left foot than I did on my right.
- Standing beside chair, hand on chair back for balance, raise one leg and flex and point foot; circle foot at ankle; move foot side to side at ankle
- With both feet flat on floor, spread toes wide (keeping toes in contact with the floor); just raise the big toes
- Stand in split stance with ball of back foot on rolled up towel, back leg is straight and heel is on floor (stretching calf)
- Unroll towel and lay on floor, place chair on it to hold it down, place toes on towel and curl toes back, trying to grip towel with toes
- Sit on chair and cross one ankle over other knee and massage toes with your hands (Jessica tells you specifically what to do)
Bonus #2 Strong Knees & Hips is 15:30 minutes; no warm up and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: a chair and a mat. Jessica did this workout barefoot and so did I. This was a very nice little conditioning workout that I actually felt. Definitely not the most intense workout I’ve ever done but since I received my first chemo infusion yesterday, I needed something gentle yet effective. This fit the bill perfectly.
- Start seated in chair. Extend one leg out straight, heel on floor, and flex foot, raise and and lower straight leg so that knees are even; keep knee raised and bend and straighten knee, keeping foot off floor; repeat on other leg
- Standing, raise one knee and balance on one leg, alternate legs; changes to crescent knee circles
- Lay on back w/ heels on chair seat, knees bent, raise and lower hips into bridge position; keep hips raised and alternate raising and straightening one leg
- Lay on side on one hip, legs together, knees bent and on floor, feet raised off floor, in this position, open and close top leg (clamshell); extend bottom leg straight, top leg is bent with sole of foot on inside of bottom leg’s knee, in this position raise and lower bottom leg; repeat these exercises again on same leg, then repeat #4 on other side of body