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by Leslie Sansone
Anchor Bay, 2013
Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Oct 8th 2013
This another new release in Leslie Sansone's "Just Walk" series. Sansone has become the guru of walk-at-home DVDs, with dozens of prior videos under her belt. Although it's difficult to see how she could offer something new at this point, "5 Mega Miles" makes a pretty good effort in this regard. As the title suggests, the workout consists of five total miles, but each mile is chaptered individually, allowing users to customize their workout length. In addition, the DVD comes with a resistance band: this band is used during two of the segments to provide a strength training effect along with the cardio workout.
As always, Sansone is teaching live (in the same studio as "Walk It Off in 30 Days") with a group of about eight background exercisers (she has the same group in all the routines, although their outfits and positions change). The Main Menu lists selections for "Play Full Workout" and also the five miles individually, each with a "Play" and "Play with Music Only" option. I have provided additional details below.
WARM-UP (5 minutes)
The warm-up can be accessed by choosing the "Play All" option only. Here Sansone sets the pace for the walk as well as introduces her "core" steps, which include walking (really marching), side step, kicks, and knees.
MILE 1, CLASSIC LOW IMPACT (15 minutes)
This is a very typical Leslie Sansone walk which includes all of her classic steps (not only those mentioned above but also hamstring curls, step outs, etc.). As the name implies, the walk is mostly low impact, although Sansone does work in a jog burst towards the end (she states that this is optional, but there is no modifier for this workout; of course, walking is always an option).
MILE 2, WALK AND TONE (15 minutes)
This is the first segment which uses the band (oddly, a neon green one, not the purple one that is included with the DVD). Sansone does a nice job of incorporating arm movements using the band into a walk that is still at a brisk pace. However, there are also periods when she does not use the band (draping it around the neck) and focuses on the cardio only.
MILE 3, SPEED INTERVAL (13.5 minutes)
This segment is a bit shorter; Sansone notes that this is because the pace is faster. There are more of what Sansone terms "gentle jogs" included here, but this time, one of the background exercisers, Brianna, modifies the impact moves.
MILE 4, STRENGTH INTERVALS (13 minutes)
The band (a purple one this time) is again used for this section. However, unlike Mile 2, which used the band concurrently with the cardio, here Sansone alternates the cardio and strength work. She begins with a fast-paced walk (about 5 minutes). She then stops and anchors the band under one foot for a set of static lunges; these are repeated on the second side. Another fast walk sequence follows, and then a set of double bicep curls/alternating bicep curls with the band. After the final fast walk, Sansone finishes this mile with squats and single-arm tricep extensions.
MILE 5, AB WALK (15 minutes)
This mile is intended to focus more on the abs/core. There are extra rotational movements, and Sansone also adds in a few other new moves such as cha-cha and grapevine.
COOL-DOWN (5 minutes)
Here Sansone introduces a new walker: Laurie, who has lost 140 lbs. The majority of the cool-down is consists simply of slowing down the walk pace, with the last minute or so including some very basic stretching.
As noted above, the main advantage of this DVD is the chaptered format, allowing users to customize a workout of a single mile to five full miles, or fifteen minutes to well over an hour. (It would have been even better had the Warm-Up and Cool-Down been chaptered separately as well, but users can skip to these sections easily enough using a remote.) Another nice feature of this release is that all of the miles are performed at a brisk pace, which should make this video more appealing to a wider range of exercisers. In summary, this is one of the best, most versatile offerings that I have seen from Leslie Sansone, and I definitely recommend it.
© 2013 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.