(SPM Wire) Many exercise equipment advertisers make bold claims that should be taken with a grain of salt.
“There is still no ‘miracle machine’ that will give you the body of a fitness model in just a few minutes per day,” says David Swain, Ph.D., FACSM, whose assertions appear in a recent issue of a journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Consumers should be wary of these claims:
Excessive calorie burn: It’s impossible to burn, say, twice the number of calories on a specialty machine as on a treadmill. The body has a limit on how many calories can be burned in an exercise session.
Fitness fast: Brief high-intensity exercise can improve maximum power more than low-intensity exercise, but cannot improve all areas of fitness in just a few minutes.
“Fat-burning” zones: According to intensity zones on some machines, you don’t have to work as hard to burn fat. But weight loss, or what some interpret as “fat burning,” comes from total calorie expenditure. It’s the combination of intensity and duration that counts.
Waist reduction: Spot-reduction is a fantasy. Machines that only train abdominal muscles won’t remove fat from the stomach; only total-body exercise and weight loss will yield those results.
“Exercisers should focus on overall health and accumulating at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity,” he says. More is needed for weight loss.