Dr. Oz puts 3 popular infomercial fitness products to the test! Read the below reviews from Consumer Reports Health:

Ab Rocket, $100

The Ab Rocket is a chair with cylinders that adds resistance when you rock back and forth. Its major claim is that it will give you the body you've wanted in just 5 minutes a day. In reality, Consumer Reports Health found that while this product might be good for most beginners, it is slightly less effective than traditional abdominal exercises like sit-ups.

Tony Little Rock ’n Roll Stepper, $80

The Tony Little Rock'n Roll Stepper is a stair-stepper that rocks side-to-side. Its major claim is that it will give you a great butt, great legs and great weight loss. In reality, Consumer Reports Health found that it burned the same number of calories as on a flat treadmill at 3.5 mph in the same time but was actually found to be less effective than conventional leg exercises, although it can be a fun cardio workout for beginners.

Perfect Pushup, $40
The Perfect Pushup is a device with rotating pushup handles which claims to engage more muscles while helping reduce strain on the wrist and elbows. In reality, Consumer Reports Health found that it was indeed a good upper-body workout for beginners and advanced exercisers who wanted to add variety to their pushup routine.

For tips about how to choose the best fitness machine for your needs and more details about the devices described above and several others, go to Consumer Reports Health.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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