While I do not dispute the veracity of the article I DO wish to say that in my opinion there is NOTHING more wasteful or ineffective than ANY exercise machine that sits unused. True there are MANY that would be better off not bought but there are scores of ellipticals, stationary bikes, nordic tracks and bow flexes etc used for washing lines. Terrible.
I do not like to exercise and have started from scratch both times I have done P90x (I am currently doing the program and starting week 5). I disagree that the program is not for beginners because if I can do it, out of shape, overweight, not fit, I think most people can. There are modified moves in every workout and he is continually saying to take a break if you need it. After 4 weeks, I haven't really lost weight, but my jeans are a little looser and I am firming up all over.
4/16/2012 5:01:30 PM
An earlier poster mentioned exercise DVDs - some of them may have free demos on the net, so it's worth looking for that. I know that Leslie Sansone has sample walk in place exercise videos at various sites (you can try a full 15 minute mile or more), I imagine others do also. Also public libraries may have dvds to loan out that are like the one that interests you. You could at least record the infomercial and use that as a sort of demo! If you try it before you buy it, then you might have a better idea if it would be worth the money to you and would be something you would stick with. You might be able to buy some of them used also, especially older ones.
4/16/2012 4:52:06 PM
Today anything sold on those infomercials will still be available to buy online - just look for "as seen on tv", that will steer you toward sites that sell them. Also look on Amazon. So you can wait and think and look at reviews and still get the same (or even better) deal if you decide to buy.
It's worth looking at the size of the people demonstrating the device and making sure that fits your dimensions, also. I actually did buy a Power Rider (kind of rowing from a bicycle type seat) from an infomercial many, many years ago (probably before the World Wide Web ...) while I was in the middle of a difficult time with my back. I imagine they were peddling it for other reasons, but it caught my eye because I noticed the people in the infomercial who were my height were basically getting a good full-body stretch on it. The tall people looked scrunched -- they obviously needed a bigger machine, it didn't look comfortable for them. When the Power Rider arrived, I was still having back trouble despite doing the exercises for it, but since the Power Rider came practically completely assembled I couldn't resist getting on it to just give it a try. I only used it at slow speed for about a minute or two, but the next day - I was able to get out of bed without any pain! It only took that much of a real stretch to help me out, I was right that it would stretch me out better than I could do myself. So I continued to use it just a few minutes at a time.
I still use it periodically as a different kind of exercise, but at my own leisurely pace, and think it was well worth the money for my purposes. My neighbor, on the other hand, bought it for "weight loss" and is significantly taller than me. She actually tried to follow the instructions for a "workout" that all those toned and muscular people were promoting and didn't find it helpful, it was not something she would keep up with, and she soon was looking to unload it on someone else. (Which is why ebay is also a good source of cheap deals on exercise equipment...) So it all depends on your expectations as well. I was just lucky that I completely ignored the thrust of the infomercial and got it for my own purposes.
Thank you for this extremely well written, perceptive article. I think anyone who considers buying a quick-fix, slickly marketed product advertised on an infomercial should read this first. I hope the smart folks at SparkPeople keep this classic piece prominently available for people to read.
It is extremely unwise to try to lose weight through the increased metabolic rate promised by many exercise and weight-loss products promoted on television. Increased metabolic rate is linked to increased disease risk and shorter lifespan.
It's far better to lose weight with a delicious. low calorie diet, which also takes care of the emotional needs that cause people to turn to unhealthful comfort foods that put on pounds.
I certainly think exercise is important, but it should be carefully planned to build muscle and joint strength, which provides protection against osteoporosis.
This is a VERY well written article I plan to pass on to my fitness classes at the Y I teach at. I, too, own a TotalGym and love it. The marketing and advertisers know how to prey on people who are DESPERATE to lose weight fast, and have the sales figures to prove it. My favorite ploy now is when they offer a 'free upgrade to express shipping!". What does that mean??? And lets not even mention Sensa.....
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