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Tips on buying the fittest exercise equipment

By Kat Carney
CNN Headline News

A good idea is to visit a few stores or health clubs to try out the exercise equipment first.
A good idea is to visit a few stores or health clubs to try out the exercise equipment first.

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(CNN) -- If you plan to purchase exercise equipment to fulfill on one of your New Year's resolutions, there are a few things you need to know, experts say.

For starters, look for a total workout. Also, be skeptical of claims, and get the total cost involved -- especially if ordering from the Internet.

Whether your goals are to improve flexibility, lose weight or tone-up -- the number of fitness products sold in retail stores or online can be overwhelming.

The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to use good judgment by carefully evaluating advertising claims, and to be realistic about their expectations by asking some questions ...

Will you really use exercise equipment? Exercising at home may sound great but will you do it -- and stick with it?

Can exercise equipment reduce specific areas of the body? No -- don't fool yourself by expecting to burn fat in one area without burning off calories over the entire body. Your best bet may be to get into a regular exercise routine and re-evaluate your diet.

Finally, have you shopped around? Experts recommend looking at more than one piece of equipment before you sign on the dotted-line. A good idea is to visit a few stores or health clubs to try out the equipment first.

Experts say it may help to check out used or secondhand equipment especially if you're looking for a great deal, but keep in mind, used equipment usually is not returnable and may not have the warranties of new equipment.

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