I’m not a runner (it hurts!), walking gets boring and I’m too lazy to drive somewhere to exercise. But I enjoy working out — I do, really — so thank goodness for exercise DVDs. I like the flexibility of working out at home on my own schedule. Plus, I can pause the action whenever I need a break instead of getting the evil eye from the instructor, although this probably has more to do with my dislike for being told what to do and when to do it than anything else. And it’s always easier to find an excuse not to get in the car and drive somewhere than it is to pop in a DVD — I’m more likely to take 30 minutes to work out in front of the TV than I am to gather my stuff together, figure out what other errands I need to run, get in the car, drive to the Y, talk to people, work out, talk to people, gather my stuff together, try to remember what other errands I need to run, get in the car, etc. And I love variety! Classes usually are the same every time. With DVDs, you can dance the salsa one day, do Pilates the next and lift weights the next day — whatever you feel like. Keeps things interesting. Some of my favorite DVDs are from The Firm — they generally combine cardio with weights for an overall invigorating workout. Back in the late 1990s, this approach was revolutionary and The Firm’s first videos were so expensive — about $50, I think — several friends and I bought one together to share it. The sets were a lush sort of Grecian spa with an orchestra soundtrack. Then The Firm went through some business changes and the next round of videos were spliced-together clips of previous tapes along with a few somewhat scarily Stepford wife-ish new ones that apparently didn’t sell well. Today The Firm has a winning combination with enthusiastic instructors, lively music, modern sets and good solid routines. Some tapes have a few glitches — instructors off beat, music not matching movement — and The Firm has an annoying habit of always coming out with The Next Big Thing You Absolutely Have to Have, but for fun workouts that do the job, these DVDs get it right. Visit The Firm’s Web site at http://www.firmdirect.com. You can also check http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.collagevideo.com/ for reviews of Firm videos.