The 9 Biggest Fitness Scams
If the topic is a healthy, beautiful body then there are many ways in which to separate gullible people from their money. This is shown by the many totally pointless accessories that companies manage to get people to buy at outrageous prices. One of the best examples is the yoga bag, which can set you back up to $120. The only thing this yoga bag is good for is to hold your $75 yoga towel and $50 yoga mat. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here they are:
1. Yoga bag
Yoga has got to be one activity where we can buy the most outrageously expensive and pointless accessories. We can spend hundreds of dollars on supposedly yoga specific accessories despite yoga being exactly the kind of activity that doesn't require any accessories whatsoever in normal circumstances. OK, perhaps above a certain age we expect men doing yoga to have long, white and wise beards but paying $120 for a yoga bag is too much. The only thing that a yoga bag is good for is to carry our other expensive yoga accessories in a cool case. Its shape makes it useless for carrying anything else. The only things it could possible carry are long, but we usually get cases with tents anyway, and it would be impractical to haul bricks with it.
2. Yoga brick
A small brick. Naturally we could use a traditional brick for doing yoga as well, but that doesn't cost enough. However, if we don't want to buy the most expensive ones we could buy a piece of foam rubber we could sit on as well for about 10 bucks. However, if we want to be one of the coolest ones in the yoga class then we should show up with a brick made of cork which will cost around $25. What's the point of a yoga brick you ask? It's to help with your balance and during stretching. You can use it to lean against, just like you can use a stool to lean against too, if you happen to be doing yoga at home with no one around to try and impress.
3. Yoga mat
We should put our yoga brick onto a yoga mat for full effect, apparently. Yoga mats run between $25-$75, depending on the maker. Why is this a scam? Because there is virtually no difference between a $75 yoga mat and a piece of $7 two-ply polyfoam. However, an expensive yoga mat probably looks better in an expensive yoga bag than a piece of polyfoam.
4. Yoga towel
Let's not pick on yoga too much. However, it is one of the very few types of physical activities that doesn't really need any accessories. Many people even do it naked. One of the most difficult to justify yoga accessories is the yoga towel, which usually costs between $50-$75. Manufacturers try to give the weak explanation that yoga towels have a very high capacity to suck up moisture, which will absorb our sweat when laid down on our yoga mat and also brings about a non-slip surface on the yoga mat making it safer for us. This of course begs the question why manufacturers couldn't just build the towel's absorbing properties into the mat from the get go, seeing as the mat already costs almost 100 dollars?
5. Nordic walking treadmill
Nordic walking is the sport where mostly middle aged to elderly people enjoy participating in, where they use two sticks to walk in the woods. Why people like doing this exactly has yet to be determined, but being out in the fresh air is always good. This is another sport where we can happily spend hundreds of dollars on supposedly special Nordic walking boots, shoes, and sticks. Making walking with sticks into a high tech sport was a brilliant piece of marketing, let's be honest. But an even bigger genius move was coming up with the idea of a Nordic walking treadmill which allows people to imitate the movement of walking "nordically". It's naturally quite expensive but at least we don't have to go out into nature, even though that would presumably be one of the main points of Nordic walking. If we take the same line of logic, then we could bring up the same things about a traditional treadmill as well. Unfortunately treadmills for running have become so common that it would be pointless to criticize it.
6. Step Aerobics steps
Step aerobics are where people step up onto a step, clap their hands together happily, perform some short and quick movement, step off of the step, and then step back onto the step with their other leg and do the above again. In essence they are imitating walking up the stairs whilst clapping or jumping up and down. It was a genius who came up with the idea of producing a separate step for this, especially as most people have some sort of step, stair, or other higher level to use in their vicinity. The idea is that the action of stepping such as using the stairs uses many muscles. It wasn't this idea that was such a genius move, but the way that people were convinced into buying a plastic stair for between $50-$300, even though they probably have a stool at home which could be used to the same effect.
7. Handrail crunches
There are many, many infomercials with fitness equipment of doubtful effectiveness which I'd rather not get into, even though there must be one or two that are useful. However, the contraption that's only function is to let us hold onto something as we do crunches in totally pointless. It can range between $30-$75 on average. Why is it pointless? If someone is in such bad shape that they can't even do one crunch they should pick a different path towards getting into shape. On the other hand, if they want to do crunches, they should do crunches and not hold onto a rail.
8. Golf pants
We know that golf is associated with the rich and well bred and because of this everything needed to play it is very expensive. This still doesn't explain why we can find so many accessories for a game which only really requires three things: clubs, golf balls, and shoes with spikes on the bottoms. Everything besides these three seem pointless, especially as there is no need to run, jump etc. that would justify extra equipment. Despite this we can buy as many accessories for golf as for mountain climbing, which the distinct difference of mountain climbing gear is there to keep you from falling off a mountain. Golfers are also known for wearing plaid pants, which can run between $50-$200.
9. Golf caps
Golf is usually played wearing one of three different types of hats. In all three it is important to note that none of them were originally designed with golf in mind, because why would you need a hat for golf? Buying these hats for normal use would probably cost around 10 bucks. However, if we buy, say, a beanie at a golf shop the price magically jumps up to $75-$100. A baseball hat costs roughly twice as much if we buy it for golf, and a fishing hat about three times more.