Anything to Sell a Product
Manufacturers of equipment sold through infomercials have often used questionable tactics to persuade consumers to buy their products.
A common ploy is to cast doubt upon traditional methods of exercise; for example, reporting that traditional crunches are painful and difficult to do, while doing abdominal exercise on (insert product name here) is much easier and more effective.
Now a new book is using this technique to sell more copies. Treadmill Training and Workout Guide, published by Hatherlidge Press of New York, is citing a recent study in the European Respiratory Journal to convince consumers that walking on a treadmill is ''better than outdoor walking.''
The study's subjects, however, were elderly people suffering from chronic respiratory disorders. When walking outdoors, participants chose a slower self-selected pace than when using the treadmill, and thus experienced a more effective workout.
When compared to same-speed or intensity walking outdoors, treadmill walking is no more or less effective.
Exercise is a highly personal choice and what works for one person, may not work for another. While many people enjoy the constancy of a treadmill workout, others find it boring and require the stimulation of being outdoors.
Given that fewer than 20 percent of Americans get the recommended amount of daily exercise, it is irresponsible for anyone to suggest that an activity as essential and easy to do as walking is ineffective.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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