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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Does it sound too good to be true?

I enjoy finding articles that really sum things up nicely regarding the "it" topics in health and fitness. Notice that after the holidays, TV commercials seem to be running every 15 minutes with the ab blaster, treadmill/elliptical climber, or whatever the newest gadget on the market might be? All seem to be promising astonishing results with little effort and only in a few minutes a day. Quite frankly, the only thing that will get you the results you want is you! It takes work to stay fit and healthy and isn't found in a box.

The following are the top ten things you should look for to determine whether it's really worth spending money on or another fad. Thanks Spark People!

1.Does it sound too good to be true? If it does, it probably is. The people behind these products and ads really are marketing geniuses. In a matter of seconds, they harness your attention. When calculating how many calories a new product burns, many companies will test their product on a very large, muscular man to get an inflated number, which skews the calorie burn for most people.
2. Does it target just one body part? There is no way to slim down, lose water weight or trim inches from a specific area of the body just by working that body part (toning & strengthening, that's different!). If you have body fat that is hiding your muscles, only a calorie-controlled diet combined with a sound exercise program (that also burns calories via cardio) will solve the problem.
3. Does it fail to mention diet or nutrition? Nutrition is such an integral part of losing inches, building muscle and dropping weight. If a product or fitness program doesn't address the nutrition side of the weight-loss equation (i.e. a reduced-calorie diet), then you can pretty much
guarantee that it's a gimmick exaggerating its results.
4. Is it really that different? What is most interesting about infomercials is that the products and programs for sale seem so new and revolutionary! But are they any better than the tried-and-true pieces of equipment at the gym (dumbbells, resistance bands, stability balls, etc.)?
5. Are the dramatic results what interest me? If you answer yes to this question, run away from the phone. Do not "act now" and order the product. If you're desperate to lose weight and the claims of rapid weight loss or dramatic results are persuading you to pick up that phone to order, take a deep breath and remind yourself that buying the product itself won't help you lose weight. Using it regularly, along with a healthy diet and sound fitness program will.
6. Is the creator of the product MIA? The safest, most effective fitness products and programs were created by qualified fitness professionals with degrees in exercise science and/or advanced certifications in personal training or group exercise. If the creator of the product is not certified or fails to mention the qualifications of his or her expertise, be wary!
7. Will it too hard or too easy for me to use? Some fitness products out there are incredibly challenging and completely unsuitable for beginners. In fact, one of the most popular infomercials, gives even the fittest people a challenge. On the other side, some other DVDs and products are much easier and would not be appropriate for a seasoned exerciser.
8. Do the testimonials come from paid actors? Although this has changed in the last few years, infomercials are notorious for paying actors and models to provide testimonials. Pay close attention to the small print at the bottom of the screen. By law, it has to tell you if the testimonials come from real people who have used the product or from actors performing a "dramatization."
9. Does it have many negative reviews online? It's always good to perform an online search for the product's name along with the word "review" to see what comes up. There are a number of sites dedicated to reviewing products in infomercials. Look up your product and see what people like you are saying about it.
10. Do you have to have it right now? If you're ready to act now, this may be an impulse purchase akin to that king-size candy bar, only more expensive. Infomercials are designed to make you want you to buy now. And they always offer special deals, last-minute offers and other incentives to get you to pick up the phone before you miss a "one-time" opportunity. Give it some time and thought. Make yourself wait at least a day to decide if you still really want it and will use it. The answer might surprise you. Some ideas seem better at 3 a.m. than they do in the daylight!

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