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Why We Spend Billions On Home Gyms And Exercise Equipment That We Don't Use

Sep 11, 2008
Americans are spending several billion dollars a year on home gyms and fitness equipment, with little to no visible results. It seems that the only real accomplishment is feeding the hungry fitness equipment industry and it's advertising machine. One report indicates that Americans spent about one billion dollars, just on treadmills, and just during the last year.

Now if the home exercise equipment phenomenon was working should we see evidence of it someplace, somewhere? Maybe we would read a news article that cites positive statistics on how most people who buy home gyms succeed in reaching their weight loss and fitness goals? I have never seen a single article on such a topic.

Maybe we would hear reports of a goverment or university study that documents a solid correlation between people who buy fitness equipment, (whether off of late night TV or from a more reputable retailer) and people who permanently lose the weight and keep it off. Well I have never heard of any study that supports such a connection.

Shouldn't spending billions of dollars a year on exercise equipment for the past 10 to 20 years, have made some type of significant reduction in the number of Americans that are overweight? The latest reports that I have read from the Centers for Disease Control are that somewhere around 97 million Americans are still overweight, and that the obesity rate has never dropped one bit, (there is some evidence though that it might be starting to level off.)

If buying a piece of fitness equipment was a sure fire ticket to a lean, fit, muscular body, wouldn't we all know at least one or two people who purchased a piece of equipment, and over a period of 6 months to a year made significant, visible changes to their body? I bet most people can't name one person.

Now that I have totally bashed buying fitness equipment, let's be honest. Sure there are a percentage of people who buy a piece of equipment and succeed in their weight loss and fitness efforts. But we both know it is a very small percentage of people. The vast majority of people will use their new home gym, or ab rocker, or whatever, only a handful of times before they either get side tracked, or realize that losing that belly is going to be much harder than they realized.

So why does this occurr? We are a society driven by information, media and advertising. Advertisers are very good at getting you to give them your money, for a product you percieve will solve a problem for you. In this case a piece of exercise or fitness equipment. The problem is that the relationship between you and the equipment manufacturer ends when your credit card number is received, and the product is shipped.

The greatest weight loss secret is not a piece of fitness equipment. In fact you can't buy it, and it can't even be given to you. The greatest weight loss and fitness secret is a habit. A simple workout habit. Yet most people will never develop one. The person who wins the fitness game is not the person who can afford the thousand dollar home gym, it is the person who develops a simple exercise habit!
About the Author
Darryl Kimball is a full time commercial helicopter pilot and a home fitness enthusiast. Darryl is the author of The Body Habit, "The No Time, No Motivation, Stay at Home but Still Get Fit and Lose Weight Workout, for Smart People" You can learn more at http://www.thebodyhabit.com
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