About Armchair Fitness

The Armchair Fitness exercise DVDs are a family of safe, seated fitness improvement routines for people interested in increasing aerobic ability and overall body strengthening, stretching and relaxing. These classic best-selling DVDs are recommended by doctors, physical therapists and diabetes educators for people who limit vigorous activity because of preference, lifestyle, age or disability. With high production value and inspiring music, they are an excellent path to lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina, muscle tone, flexibility, coordination and a sense of well being.

About Betty Switkes

Betty Switkes, a fitness expert, is featured in Armchair Fitness: Aerobics, Armchair Fitness: Strength Improvement, and Armchair Fitness: Gentle Exercise.

Betty was a pioneer in the early 1980s, developing chair exercises that gave an aerobic workout without undue stress or strain. "When I was about 58, I decided I wanted to work with older people. I was getting older and I thought I could help them and myself at the same time."

Armchair Fitness: Aerobics, Betty's original cassette has become a classic. Since 1985 it has been used by hundreds of thousands of people who prefer to get an aerobic workout while seated. It has been widely adopted by diabetes educators, nutritionists, and other health educators. Betty, meanwhile, has continued to lead exercise classes on network television, at the National Institutes of Health and in many other settings coast-to-coast-even on cruises of the Queen Elizabeth II.

In the beginning Betty was surprised to discover that not only older people were interested in armchair exercises. "There are a lot of people who don't like to be visible in an exercise class, get up in an aerobics class. There were an amazing number of people who just didn't like to get on the floor and exercise, but still wanted to be healthier and work out. You can raise your heart rate no matter what your age, sitting in a chair if you know how to do it. People of all ages can benefit. You can raise your arms over your head 20 times and you are puffing. You can get a workout.

"Only about 25 percent of the whole population-- elderly or any age-- is getting enough exercise to really maintain good health. And that's sad. With all the information we've gained in the last 10 years, people ought to be aware of how important it is."

About Pat Hulbert

Betty Switkes' colleague, college health educator and yoga instructor, Pat Hulbert, 65, leads the companion cassette, Armchair Fitness: Yoga Health. The workout, which requires no previous knowledge of yoga, promotes relaxation and emotional calm as a beneficial counterpoint to aerobic exercises.

Pat has an advanced degree in health education with a specialty in stress management. Since 1978, she has taught health courses and yoga at a college, community centers, retirement homes, and a chronic pain clinic. Yoga, she says, "is not only something for your body, but it helps you with your everyday life. It becomes a guide not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. I am in better shape today than I was at 25 and I have more peace of mind and confidence." She goes on to say that "Keeping the joints moving is important. The number one benefit is the breathing techniques. Illness comes when we don't get enough oxygen. And yoga also helps strengthen all the muscles which strengthens the bones."

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