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The iPod is truly a revolutionary invention. Its genius is in that it didn't re-invent the wheel, it just made the wheel better. It took something we all were already using and made it easier to access, easier to use, more portable, more reliable, etc. Like it's predecessors the Walkman and the portable CD player this gadget initially designed for entertainment can be a valuable fitness tool. The obvious use is as a light weight, compact, way to have your music, podcasts, or books on "tape" with you where ever you workout. Music in particular has been shown to help exercisers burn more calories in their cardio sessions and keep the intensity up in their weight training sessions. There's nothing like a great song with an energetic beat to inspire you to pick up the pace on your run or crank out a few more lunges. Now, with the ample storage capacity and flexibility of what you store the fitness industry has found it's way onto the iPod. There are a number of companies that offer audio workouts that you download and take with you. You can take your workout to the gym, outside, or use it to workout at home. These iPod (actually any MP3 player will do) workouts are especially great when you're travelling. The workouts may be set to music. Some are voiced by fitness celebrities. The great thing is that they tell you exactly what you need to do, which exercises, how many reps. The audio trainer will give you encouragement and tips on proper form as you go along. This form of workout means that you do not have a visual reference in front of you as you do the exercises. So, when they say to do a lunge you kind of have to know what that means. Now they will typically give you some setup instructions but, they can only communicate so much verbally. Also, unlike working with a trainer, there's no one there to check your form. This isn't really an issue with cardio but, with strength training programs it may be worth doing a couple sessions with a trainer to be sure you're doing the exercises correctly. Companies that put out these audio workouts will likely provide online support where you can get some type of visual demonstration of the exercise being done properly. If they don't provide this resource then there are plenty of places you can find what you're looking for online. For example, my online personal training site provides this kind of visual demonstration of exercises. In fact, you might discover that the audio workouts are a great add on to working with an online personal trainer. While I'm sure there are several out there, one company I know that does MP3 workout programs is iTrain. They have sample audio clips so that you can try a few minutes of the workouts and see if this style of training is right for you. They offer a wide variety of cardio, strength training, yoga, pilates and more. This is one company that does provide video demonstrations so that you can get

a visual on the exercises in your audio routines. Audio MP3 workouts can be an excellent addition to well rounded fitness program. These workouts offer a great deal of flexibility and convenience compared to other fitness programs. It's also a relatively cost effective way to get in shape.

Laura Lawson is a certified personal trainer who is dedicated to helping people to improve their quality of life through fitness. In addition to individual and small group personal training sessions she offers convenient and cost effective online training programs. Please visit to learn more.

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