Be aware of problem buying exercise equipment

John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president. CONTRIBUTED
John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president. CONTRIBUTED

Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds gained during the pandemic, follow through on your New Year’s Resolution or just want to maintain your weight, you may be looking to buy exercise equipment. Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. According to the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), people who are physically active for about 150 minutes a week have a 33% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive.

Gyms were closed due to the pandemic for several months and are just now opening up. Many set up gyms in their homes as an alternative. Retail sales of fitness equipment rose by 130 percent in March compared to last year, according to the NPD Group. Stackline, an e-commerce data company, recorded a 307 percent jump in online sales of weight-training equipment.

If you’re looking to get some exercise equipment, it’s important to decide what equipment is right for you and your lifestyle. For example, knowing whether you want to create an entire home gym or just a few pieces to get started. Home equipment can be a great alternative to a gym membership and can be a great investment in your own health.

Better Business Bureau offers these tips to consider when shopping for exercise equipment:

  • Read reviews. Check out fitness magazines and online reviews for ratings of exercise equipment you might be considering.
  • Don’t be afraid to shop around online and in stores.
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Know how much you’re willing to spend and don’t go over that amount.
  • Set fitness goals. Knowing what work you want to do on your body will help you find the correct equipment to meet your goals.
  • Be realistic. If you do something too difficult or painful, it will be hard to stay motivated to continue.
  • Be sure any vendor you purchase from is a verified buyer to avoid potential scams.
  • Understand if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is.
  • Ignore claims an exercise machine or device can provide long-lasting, easy, “no-sweat” results in a short time. You can’t get the benefits of exercise unless you exercise often.
  • Be wary of glowing testimonials or dramatic before and after pictures. Those experiences may not be the standard and you may not see the same results.
  • Do the math. Statements like “three easy payments of …” or “only $49.95 a month” may not include shipping and handling fees, sales tax, delivery and set-up fees.
  • Check for excessive wear and safety features if you’re buying used equipment.
  • Try the equipment before you buy. As many fitness products are very expensive, you want to ensure the product your buying feels natural and suits you.
  • Get details on warranties, guarantees and return policies.

One of the most important things to remember is to refrain from impulse purchases. Do your homework and contact your BBB by visiting bbb.org or calling 937-222-5825 or (800) 776-5301. BBB can provide you with lists of BBB Accredited Businesses in the industry and Business Profiles on specific companies you’re considering.