I grew up in a household where we weren't into sports. My Mom made an effort to keep in shape, and I remember doing exercise videos or recorded shows (remember Gilad of Bodies in Motion?) with her from a very early age. My home culture led me to understand that it was important to be healthy and eat wholesome foods. The thing that I didn't develop from that home culture was a lifestyle of physical activity.
Here I am, years away from the time I was my Mom's back-up exerciser, and my daughter is watching me do the same thing. Although I respect the value of the exercise video for those of us who struggle to get out and lead a life of movement, I am discouraged by the compartmentalizing of our lives into convenient half-hour exercise sessions, and by the underlying sense that I'm trying to buy "fitness in a box" instead of going out and doing it the old-fashioned way.
I believe that exercise videos can make a difference in the lives of the people who use them. I know that I have benefited from using such videos, in that it gets me moving on days when I just want to sit and watch TV or spend time in from of my computer. Videos are a starting place and a stepping stone to the next phase of a fit life. I know I'll continue to use videos, especially since I can learn new things from videos that I don't have regular access to, such as yoga or pilates.
The challenge is to move beyond the videos and start incorporating physical activity into a lifestyle - walking, biking, swimming, playing - so that the children in our lives have a model to follow that will lead them to a lifetime of health, as well.