by Elizabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito Acacia, 2009 Review by E. James Lieberman, M.D. on Aug 10th 2010
The late psychiatrist-geriatrician Robert Butler called attention to loss of muscle mass and strength with aging, notably the quadriceps. That, along with increasing balance problems, accounts for many falls, for example from tripping, since curbs and other obstacles are relatively higher when these large muscles weaken.
A month before having hip replacement at 75 I tried this program with limited ability to follow it despite prior experience with Pilates. Six months after surgery I can follow all but the "Pretzel" mat exercise and find the series diverse, demanding and rewarding. The leaders are an attractive couple; she demonstrates a higher level workout (more difficult moves, more flexibility) while he (simultaneously) shows a moderate version. Viewers can choose the appropriate guide. There are five workouts of ten minutes each; you can spend almost an hour, or just do one or two segments, each of which has a guided warmup. The program can be set to eliminate introduction and verbal accompaniment. It would be nice to be able to eliminate the background “music,” an constant rhythmic percussion that became distracting and annoying. After getting to know the routines one could turn down the sound altogether. One can eliminate the spoken sound; apparently the only want to eliminate the percussion is to follow the routine visually and turn the sound off or very low.
Because the muscle groups in involved are large, a substantial effort is needed. Regular participation should have a meaningful result. Conscientious users--people should get into this gradually, as the program warns-- can save trips to the gym and personal trainer fees thanks to this excellent presentation.