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Exercise Equipment or Coat Rack?

Fitness Goals: Where Do You Want Your Exercise Equipment to Take You?

After you've evaluated the advertised claims - but before you make a final purchasing decision - consider these questions:

  • Will the equipment help you achieve your desired goal - whether it's to build strength, increase flexibility, improve endurance, or enhance your health?
  • Will you stick to the program? Keeping with an exercise program can be rough: Think of all the basements, rec rooms and yard sales stocked with costly stationary bikes, treadmills and rowing machines that have gone unused and now serve merely as places to hang clothes. Before you buy, prove to yourself that you're ready to act on your good intentions.

To help you choose the best equipment for your needs, check out consumer and fitness magazines that rate exercise equipment. Then test various pieces of equipment at a local gym, recreation center or retailer to find the machine or device that feels comfortable to you.

Shop around: Exercise equipment advertised on TV or in newspapers or magazines may be available at local sporting goods, department and discount stores. That can make it easier to shop for the best price. Don't be fooled by companies that advertise "three easy payments of ..." or "only $49.95 a month." The advertised price may not include shipping and handling fees, sales tax, and delivery and set-up fees. Ask about the costs before you close the deal.

Get details on warranties, guarantees and return policies: A 30-day money-back guarantee, may not sound as good if you're responsible for paying a hefty fee to return a bulky piece of equipment you bought.

Check out the company's customer and support services. Call the advertised toll-free number to get an idea of how easy it is to reach a company representative and how helpful he or she is.

You may get a great deal on a piece of fitness equipment from a second-hand store, consignment shop, yard sale, or the classified ads. Buy wisely: Items bought second-hand usually aren't returnable and don't carry the warranties that new equipment does.

Whether used or new, home exercise equipment can be a great way to shape up, but only if you use it regularly. Don't be taken in by claims of quick, easy and effortless results: There's no such thing as a no-work, no-sweat way to a toned body.

Previous: Evaluating Exercise Equipment Claims: Which Will be a Success at Helping Your Body Burn More Calories?

Adapted from: Pump Fiction


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