The pitfalls of buying “infomercial” exercise equipment
The desire to get physically fit sometimes drives people towards impulsive, silly and expensive purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, the fitness industry is rife with gimmicks that not only fail to produce the claimed results, but are also dangerous and pose serious health hazards.
The right exercise equipment can really enhance your well-being. However with skyrocketing prices on the latest machines, it’s very tempting to look for shortcuts and “knock-off” products to save a few bucks.
Nobody is more conscious of consumer tendencies than online shopping channels and their infomercial creators. Their marriage to fitness and nutrition corporations is long established and the formula for selling fitness equipment to viewers is pretty simple:
- Bring out a noted fitness expert to praise the latest, “state-of-the-art” product.
- Have sexy professional models showcase their beach body physiques, which they do not owe to the product.
- Use “before and after” testimonials from so-called average folks to demonstrate credibility to the viewing audience.
- Finally, provide a “too good to be true” offer with easy monthly payments to clinch the sale.
These seduction tactics produce millions of dollars in annual sales, but judging from user feedback, many people continue to be left frustrated and unsatisfied with their purchases. Why? It may all come down to not asking yourself the golden question before pulling out your credit card, i.e.:
“Is that shiny product or home-exercise video the right choice for me?“
Many buyers are seduced by unrealistic fitness expectations, ignoring issues like:
- Shipping and handling costs.
- Guarantees and extended warranties.
- Assembly details and technical support.
- Ongoing maintenance issues and costs.
Top of the line home gym systems usually have a 3-4 year payback period versus an average monthly gym membership, assuming regular use. If you are new to physical fitness, it may be better to join a local gym just to avoid the aggravation of bulky equipment ownership, at least in the short-term.
We all want to lead healthy lives, but buying expensive equipment is often a big gamble that we can easily do without. Sometimes, a smaller investment (e.g. yoga or Pilates set, resistance bands, skipping rope, some free weights, etc.) is more advisable, especially for beginners in lifestyle fitness.
The bottom line is this: While many legitimate shopping channels and internet websites sell exercise equipment, it is always “buyer beware”when it comes to your health. Do not buy fitness equipment through late night infomercials, internet marketers and auction sites unless you have thoroughly researched essential product and performance details from several independent sources.
It’s the only way to expose the fine print, especially facts that are conveniently omitted from infomercial sales pitches. Plus, it will help you avoid scams and keep you from collecting or trashing unused, unsatisfactory equipment.
Another point of concern is that inventors are continually coming up with newer equipment and machines, with more “interesting ways to move” during exercise. However correct form and movement technique when exercising is crucial. Using poorly engineered equipment that promote bad form is a recipe for injury.
Before making a major gym equipment purchase, discuss your needs with your physiotherapists during your next appointment. We have a wealth of experience when it comes to exercise products and our advice will be invaluable on the road to a better workout experience.
Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. This will slow down your eating and help your digestion. It will also stop you shovelling in mouthfuls without really thinking what you are eating.
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Funny thought of the day
The brain is the greatest organ in the body because it is the one telling you that it is.