Watch for These Infomercial Red Flags

Fitness Couple

As part of their New Year’s resolution, many people are turning to fitness regimes such as P90X3 and machines like the Bowflex MAX Trainer and the Tour de Force Centennial. While they can be effective, you have to watch for a few red flags in fitness pitches.

“Lose weight without exercising.”

While it is possible to lose weight without exercising, “you will end up sacrificing your health, energy and metabolism,” writes Libby Norris of Canada AM. “The number one reason we gain weight as we age is loss of lean tissue. Not using and losing your muscle mass as you age reduces your resting metabolic rate . . . which is your fat-burning furnace!

“Burn 1,000 calories in one workout.”

Read the small print, and you’ll find that this calorie-count represents the extreme top-end count that possible. Several factors affect the number of calories that can be burned, including age, weight, gender and workout intensity. The infomercials, Norris points out, make high-intensity workouts look like a breeze.

“Studies show…”

Studies that aren’t from recognized health authorities often hold no weight. Ads citing studies from disreputable sources often take a dubious claim and run with it.

“See results in just minutes per day.”

You can get results by working out just five minutes a day, but it’ll take a lot longer to see those results than with a lengthier, higher-impact regimen.

As Norris writes: “How quickly you get results is directly related to the balance of changes you may need to make in a variety of areas related to weight and fitness – eating, activity, body composition, health, sleep and stress. Quick results are most often short-lived!”

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