Review: Jessica Smith – 4 Mile Power Walk

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Overview: 4 Mile Power Walk is a walking and low-impact aerobics workout that promises to burn fat, boost cardiovascular fitness, and improve coordination and agility. It includes a warm-up, four 15-minute miles, and a cool-down.

Equipment needed: None

Workout times:

Warm-up: Approximately 5:30
Miles 1 – 4: Each 15:00
Cool-down & stretch: Approximately 7:30

Workout structure:

Mile 1: Moves include walking forward & back, double side-steps, hamstring curls, double side-steps with leg extension, kicks, side toe taps, grapevines, shuffles, wide walk, insole touches, side toe taps with arm circles, step taps, single side-steps, 3 steps with a knee lift, double side-steps with a crossover kick

Mile 2: Moves include side-steps, double side-steps, double hamstring curls, single hamstring curls, crossover toe taps, double side-steps with a scoop, single side-scoops, wide heel digs, knee lifts, double side-steps with insole touch, side toe taps, skaters, side-steps with a squat, double knee lifts, walking forward & back

Mile 3: Moves include side-steps with arm circles, double side-steps with scooping arms, hamstring curls, corner-to-corner step knees, double side-steps with a twist, crossovers with a side shuffle, mambos with a cha cha, crossover toe taps, step taps with punches, alternating V-steps, turn steps, wide heel digs, side-steps with a directional change, half-jacks, narrow hamstring curls, walking forward & back

Mile 4: Moves include walking forward & back with overhead punches, step taps with conga drum arms, hamstring curls with speedbag, side knee lifts, wide heel digs, up & down step-taps with arm presses, grapevines with front crossover, V-steps, rear toe taps, skaters, backwards walk, figure 8 walk, double side-steps, hamstring curls, walking with overhead arm reaches

My impressions:

4 Mile Power Walk is an easy-to-follow walking DVD that provides plenty of variety with low-impact aerobic moves mixed in with the walking. Instructor Jessica Smith is upbeat and encouraging throughout the workout; she’s joined by background exercisers Beth, who demonstrates some higher-impact options, and Debbie, Jessica’s mom. The setting is beautiful with a view of the turquoise ocean and a white sandy beach.

The workout consists of a movement-specific warm-up, four miles that each last 15 minutes, and a dynamic cool-down and stretch. Miles 2 and 4 are a bit faster that Miles 1 and 3; I had a little trouble keeping the beat at the beginning of Mile 2, but was able to once the music changed. Each mile features plenty of variety in the moves, with a combination of moves put together and repeated on a couple of occasions. There are also a few times where Jessica does a move on one side for a longer period of time, then switches to the other side. The moves in general are easy to follow, with Jessica giving clear instructions.

I only had a couple of quibbles with 4 Mile Power Walk. For one, the DVD plays the full walk in its entirety; if you want to shorten your walk due to time constraints, you have to manually skip ahead to the next chapter. It would have been a nice feature to add to be able to program your walk, but I have no idea how difficult or how costly it is to add such a feature, so that might not have been in the budget. Another thing I noticed is that the timer for each mile counts up instead of down; I think it’s more typical to have timers count down (and I think it’s more encouraging to see how much time you have left). Both of these issues are minor, however, and don’t take away from the quality of the workout.

Summary: Overall 4 Mile Power Walk is a great beginner-to-intermediate cardio DVD that will please variety junkies. It mixes walking with easy-to-follow aerobic moves, and can be modified with high impact moves if desired. If you’re looking for some good steady-state cardio, pick this one up!

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