Tips for Buying Exercise Equipment
Avoiding the Muscle Hustle
Looking for a way to
keep fit, stay limber or lose weight? A diet of regular
exercise can help.
exercise is best? The one you're really going to do. For
some people, that means working out at home on exercise
you're considering buying exercise equipment, the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) offers this advice: Evaluate
advertising claims for fitness products carefully.
Exercise — with or without special equipment — is
essential for good health. But be skeptical of claims that
you will lose several pounds, inches or pant sizes in a
short time (for example, "7 inches in 7 days" or
"3 dress sizes in one month"). Even when
combined with dietary supplements or specialized breathing
techniques, it is virtually impossible for most consumers
to achieve such major changes in appearance in a few days
FTC advises consumers to:
claims that an exercise machine or device can provide
long-lasting, easy, "no-sweat" results in a
short time. These claims are false: You can't get the
benefits of exercise unless you exercise.
claims that a product can burn fat off a particular
part of the body — for example, the buttocks, hips
or stomach. Achieving a major change in your
appearance requires sensible eating and regular
exercise that works the whole body.
the ad's fine print. The advertised results may be
based on more than just using a machine; they also may
be based on restricting calories.
skeptical of testimonials and 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
the calculations when you read statements like
"three easy payments of ..." or "only
$49.95 a month." The advertised cost may not
include shipping and handling fees, sales tax, and
delivery and set-up fees. Find out the details before
details on warranties, guarantees and return policies.
A "30-day money-back guarantee" may not
sound as good if you have to pay shipping on a bulky
piece of equipment you want to "return to
out the company's customer and support services. Call
the advertised toll-free numbers to get an idea of how
easy it is to reach a company representative and how
helpful he or she is.
Federal Trade Commission
article has informational purpose and isn't a substitute for professional
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