When it comes to fitness and health programs, gimmicks are always present, and advertisements will guarantee you the best results in a very limited amount of time.
“Gimmicks are a popular method of advertising when it comes to fitness and health programs,” says Sean Wells, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the fitness expert at bistroMD. “Most of these fitness and health programs promote simple ‘gadgets’ or activities that cause the individual using them to perform unnatural movements.”
Many of the fitness and health programs that promote these activities are also usually not specific to an individual’s needs, goals, or abilities.
With help from our fitness expert, Sean, here is some advice on what to look out for and what to avoid when you start to look for an effective fitness and health program.
Watch Out For Ridiculous Claims
When it comes to fitness and health programs, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
“If you come across a program that makes ridiculous claims, steer clear and look for another alternative,” says Sean.
Some fitness and health products promise false hope to many consumers including “this miracle product can cure diabetes” or “this procedure will lower your blood pressure."
“When it comes to claims like these, most of these conditions can be cured simply by starting to perform basic daily exercises,” says Sean. “This includes exercises like walking and jogging, and simple home-based exercises like stretching techniques, and practicing yoga.”
You can get the same results by doing these exercises, without all of the extra “hype” that comes with ridiculous advertisements.
Be Cautious of Unrealistic Weight Loss and Strength Gains
“When narrowing down your search for an effective fitness and health program, it’s important that you don’t trust claims of rapid weight loss, and guarantees of fast gains in your physical strength,” says Sean. “According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), safe weight loss should be done at a rate of two pounds per week.”
When it comes to strength training, this should slowly be incorporated into a routine that your body has the necessary time to adjust to physically.
“Once you have mastered an effective and more intense aerobic exercise routine, then you should start incorporating strength-training techniques,” says Sean. “Starting out with strength training exercises and strictly doing these types of exercises will not help you get the results your are hoping for. You have to readjust your body metabolically first, before you move on to building your physical strength.”
If a fitness and health program you are researching promises either one of these extremes, then it is definitely something that probably isn't best suited for you.
Don’t Believe Claims of an Easy Way Out
If a product, or a fitness and health program is trying to sell you on an easy fix for your needs, then it is definitely an option that should be avoided.
“If effective exercise was easy, we would all be walking around with perfectly toned muscles, and perfectly polished physiques,” says Sean. “Products that try to tell you that you can get rock-hard abs while sitting on the couch, or gyms that have cutting-edge equipment that can get you the results you want, usually miss the mark.”
Many of these plans promote exercises that only require you to remain in sitting or crouching positions that require little physical effort.
“Exercise takes effort, and should be performed through common modes of activity including walking, biking, swimming, rowing, using resistant bands, or using your body weight,” says Sean. “Many of these exercises will require effort, but the results will definitely be a reward in itself for all of your hard work.”
Many fitness and health programs will also try to sell you on cutting-edge equipment that you simply can’t get fit without.
“Some of the best exercises can be done without expensive equipment, and in your own home,” says Sean. “This gimmick is something you should be aware of because many fitness and health programs will charge you an exorbitant amount of fees based on this premise.”
The bottom line: You don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to find a fitness and health program that will work for you. By educating yourself, and by slowly developing your own routine, you will be on your way to accomplishing your goals and feeling better about your physical capabilities.
For more tips from our experts, please visit our health library section for more information.