We’ve all seen the fitness infomercial ads on daytime and late night television, and we’ve all shouted the same exact thing: ‘Who in the hell is buying that stuff?'
Whoever they are, they must own a heck of a lot of laser hair growth products, lycra gut and bum slimming devices, and maybe even a personal pump-gadget for that extra little bit of size where it counts.
It seems we have a machine to tone every single part of our body, but I am yet to hear of one that has turned out to be a genuine game changer.
In spite of this, many people continue to spend their hard earned in order to slim down and tone up in the comfort of their living rooms, with aid of The Ab Circle Pro, The Cardio Twister, The Thigh Master, and The Jump Snap (yes, it’s a jump rope, without the rope).
The fat zapping vibrating belt machine from the 1960s certainly made somebody a fortune, and we’ve spent millions here on every other passing fad. Here are a couple of my personal favourites.
The Shake Weight
They say: Based on groundbreaking technology called Dynamic Inertia… Shake Weight increases upper body muscle activity by more than 300% compared to traditional free weights.
I say: First you turn it on, hold it in the palm of your hand, and then the jerking motion of the rod is meant to do all of the work in activating your muscles. But remember folks, push ups, bicep curls, and tricep dips still work.
They say: Get rid of your loose skin around your chin and neck. The secret is in its three resistance levels that gently firm the underlying muscles of the neck and tighten skin at the same time for a dramatic lift. Enjoy age-defying results by using just two minutes a day!
I say: It’s a pogo stick for your chin, as if you were nodding ‘yes’ to somebody with a resistance coil under your head.
It is easy to scoff at gadgets like these, but aren’t we all a bit guilty of handing our fitness over the contraptions? We put chips in our running shoes, wear heart rate monitor watches with GPS, and download more smart phone fitness apps than one can count.
Yes, it proves we are smarter and more tech conscious than ever, but the stats still show we are fatter than ever.
Techno sports are the new black, and as high tech companies throw fitness gadget at us, Nintendo and Microsoft are invading our living rooms from young to old with their Wii and Kinect family-fun gaming platforms.
Helen Mirren stars in one ad doing yoga. Another shows kids beating Roger Federer in a game of tennis and even Delta and Brian played together during lovey-dovey date night.
The truth is this - you can rest, eat, and watch DVDs in your living room, but you cannot get fit, because techno sports ain’t real sports.
Get with it Australia. When our children are playing tennis, soccer, and track and field events in front of their 50” LEDs, you are setting them up for a lifestyle that may end up costing you thousands each year in new games and accessories, while they get few of the health and social benefits offered by real sport.
We live in a sunny country filled with beaches and more land per capita than most countries in the world. We don’t need computer games to get our kids fit. We just need to get them outside and use our plentiful land and oceans to run, play soccer-footy-rugby-AFL, surf, swim, hike, and bike!
To see Aussies getting duped by fitness gadgets while our kids head towards obesity is enough to make me cry.
Now if somebody could just pass me a ShamWow ($49.95) to help soak up my tears.
Are you a fan of high-tech fitness (and have you ever bought a dud exercise contraption that you now keep hidden under your bed?)