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

Natural Stress Relief? Yes! Lifestyle in a Box? Not Quite.

Read the performance claims critically. Be leery of those that say the equipment or device can:

  • provide easy or effortless results or burn excessive calories. The claims may be true for athletes in top physical condition, but not for most people.
  • help you burn more calories or lose weight faster than other types of equipment. In general, exercise equipment that works the whole body or major parts of it probably helps you burn more calories than devices that work one part of the body. And, the more you use the equipment, the more calories you'll burn. That's a good reason to select equipment that suits you and your lifestyle. A study might show that one type of equipment burns more calories per hour than another type. But if the exercise is uncomfortable, or the equipment hard to use, chances are it will gather dust, not help you burn calories.
  • help you "spot" reduce; for example, help you trim your hips or lose the proverbial "spare tire." Toning and losing weight in one particular area of the body require regular exercise that works the whole body. Your weight depends on the number of calories you eat and use each day; increasing your physical activity helps you burn extra calories.

Always read the fine print. The advertised results may be based on more than just the use of the machine; they also may be based on restricting calories. The fine print may explain this. Even if it doesn't, keep in mind that diet and exercise together are much more effective for achieving a healthy, toned body than either tactic is alone.

Be skeptical of testimonials or before-and-after pictures from "satisfied" customers. Their experiences may not be typical: Just because one person had success with the equipment doesn't mean you will, too. As for those popular celebrity endorsements, they, too, are no proof that the equipment will work as claimed.

Next: Exercise Equipment or Coat Rack?

Previous: How to Buy the Right Exercise Equipment for You

Adapted from: Pump Fiction
(http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/products/pumpfict.htm)

 

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