Mind-body specialist Gaiam enters aerobic market

Gaiam, a company known mostly for its yoga and Pilates products, is stepping in a new direction – literally -- with a series of walking DVDs and products. The most recent release is “Get Moving! Walking for Weight Loss.”

Gaiam, a company known mostly for its yoga and Pilates products, is stepping in a new direction – literally -- with a series of walking DVDs and products. The most recent release is “Get Moving! Walking for Weight Loss” a DVD created with fitness instructor Madeleine Lewis.

“We developed it based on an overwhelming demand from our customers to apply our mind-body approach to one of the most popular and widely practiced forms of exercise: walking,” said Liz Kramer, director of business development for Gaiam (NASDAQ: GAIA). “It just made sense to do this and it appeals to everyone...from the person just getting started to people who are already very active and fit.”

The program, available since June, integrates strength-training with aerobics techniques and walking movements in four 10-minute workouts designed to be done indoors. Each workout can be done three different ways and a built-in feature allows a person to customize his or her workout based on weight loss goals.

“The Walking for Weight Loss DVD really is a natural extension of our other personal development and healthy living products, created to offer people a lifestyle approach to fitness and weight loss,” Kramer said. “Our customers told us loud and clear that they needed a workout that fit their busy schedules…. Now you don't have to disrupt your life to have a major impact on your weight and health.”

Madeleine Lewis, the co-creator of the program, has worked in the fitness industry for 20 years. She has been the instructor in more than 50 fitness videos, such as those in the Kathy Smith series.

“One of the reasons we created this program is due to the fact that we don't believe there is anything else on the market quite like it,” Kramer said. “Madeleine Lewis offers a comprehensive approach to walking fitness: cardio, strengthening and flexibility, which provides a total work out and faster results.”

The DVD, developed and produced by Gaiam, is available on the company's website and also in retail stores where other Gaiam products are sold. Other products in the walking series include: the Walking Fit Kit, which comes with a video, a CD of music, hand weights and a stretching strap; the Walking Workout System, which comes with a DVD, an instructional CD, a pedometer, weights and stretching strap; and the mini-stepper, which is a stair climber and resistance trainer.

SNEWS® View: The migration toward aerobic-oriented weight-loss products seems to have left behind no company, even those in areas that one wouldn't necessarily connect to traditional aerobics and strength-training, such as Gaiam. Turning to new products focused on slimming down seens as common now as all no-carb bread and low-net-impact-carbs beer. What's intriguing is how consumers seemed to migrate away from traditional workouts like aerobics and walking to mind-body routines like yoga and Pilates, but this move by mind-body master Gaiam seems to indicate they may also be migrating back again. Retailers need to pick up on this back-and-forth migration to not miss the ever-changing needs of their consumers – and potential consumers.


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