Challenges/ Fitness/ Motivation/ Nutrition Tips

Fitness Gimmicks, Things I Do Well and Things I Want to Improve

Hey everyone!

Oh my poor neglected blog… I feel like I’m spending a lot of time apologising lately – this flu has really kicked my butt! While the dizziness has subsided to the point where I can LOOK at the computer, I still haven’t gotten all of my energy back, and I’m still feverish. I can get the fever to go away with Advil/Tylenol, but I can’t get it to go away and STAY away. Grrr…..

Monday I had an errand to do over my lunch time, and I noticed when I looked up the location on a map that the store was only 3km away… So instead of driving I threw on my running gear and ran there and back. I don’t think I was quite well enough yet for that, but it was so good for my mood to get back out there. Yesterday I opted for a lower impact Yoga class during my lunch break and learned that the reason why I’m starting to get hamstring and hip injuries is because I NEVER stretch. Ooops! It was so nice to get all bendy and to spend time quietly thinking. And today I popped a few Tylenol Flu tablets and muscled my way through BodyPump class, though admittedly I lifted much lighter weight than I normally do.

Today is another Blogging Challenge catch up post from the two three topics that I’ve missed:

Day 24: Have you ever fallen for a fitness “gimmick”?

I’m going to preface this by saying I haven’t seen too many “gimmicks” that don’t work… It’s not that the product doesn’t work, it’s more of a case of we don’t use the product as often or as intense as the manufacturer suggests to create the changes in our bodies that we want. Yes – even those ludricous sounding products like ab stimulator belts do exactly what they claim to do – they strengthen your abdominal muscles:


In fact, when I was completing my certificate in Athletic Therapy we used electronic muscle stimulation in injury rehab to strengthen muscles. We really did! Sometimes, when a muscle is injured our bodies protect the muscle by not allowing us to send a nerve impulse to the muscle to make it contract. Then, as the muscle heals, it also becomes weaker, which then can cause muscle imbalances. We used electronic muscle stimulation to cause muscles to contract, and studies have proven that electrical stimulation causes adaptation of cells of muscles, blood vessels and nerves. (Source: Wikipedia)

Most fitness “gimmicks” are based on scientific evidence – however, they are marketed to a segment of the population that is looking for the “quick fix”. Those that are willing to do the work don’t need any of this equipment, and aren’t likely to spend money on it anyways, which is why we often think of these as gimmicks.

That all said, I think the most amount of money I’ve spent on a fitness product that I didn’t get the full value out of is the $350 or so (I can’t remember how much I spent) on our Wii Fit.


I had great intentions of using it. In fact I did use it a few times, it’s just that I found it so boring! I hated the amount of time it took to transition from one activity to another – a lot of activities had demos to sit through, so if I had 30 min available to workout, only about 15-20 minutes of that time was spent actually moving/strengthening etc.

Day 25: What is something that you do well?

What do I do well… There are lots of things I TRY to do (ahem… dancing), but I really can’t think of any that I EXCEL at. Though there are a few unique talents I have:

  • I can read html and php programming, and I’m fairly good at troubleshooting WordPress blog problems, but I have to admit my solutions are often more of a result of me being resourceful, and being able to understand the technical directions, than of me being great at programming.
  • Running… I’m not super fast, but I can maintain a decent pace for about an hour.
  • Softball… Again – not the BEST, but I can throw, catch and make contact with the ball when batting on a consistent basis. I don’t know if I’ve ever hit a legitimate homerun, though I have gotten a few from being a fast runner and taking advantage of throwing errors. I played fall ball last year, and this year I’m playing in a one day work tourney. I hope that next year I can fit my softball schedule in amongst the kids sports schedules…
  • Multitasking – being a mom, working full time, blogging, training, etc. That takes skill doesn’t it?

    Day 26: What is one area of fitness that you’d like to improve upon?

    Hands down – my nutrition.


    Strength, balance, flexibility, speed, endurance… These are all VERY important, both now and as I age, but I know that I can easily improve any or all of those with diligent training, because I greatly enjoy any and all fitness classes and activities. But nutrition… That’s a whole other ball game.

    I *know* what I *should* be and *should not* be eating, but man that’s HARD! There are so many social pressures to eat things that are probably not the best choices, and packaged foods are everywhere, yummy and oh so convenient! SO yeah – I know that if my nutrition was to greatly improve, so would everything else with training. I strongly feel we can exercise and train as hard as we want everyday, but the real increases in strength, speed and endurance will come from proper nutrition and hydration.

    Have you ever fallen for a fitness “gimmick”?
    What is something that you do well?
    What is one area of fitness that you’d like to improve upon?


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  • Amber K
    September 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I have a shake weight. I think it would actually work if I could just remember to use it!

  • cathyo
    September 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    i’ve never spent money on a gimmick…been very tempted and looked up a lot of them online, but never bit the bullet and made a purchase

    Eating better is on my list of things to improve on too

  • Kayla in the City
    September 27, 2012 at 3:15 am

    I never thought about how it was similar to the stimulator thing used in physical therapy

  • emfrappier
    September 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I definitely need to improve my nutrition. I do pretty well most of the time, and when I eat clean, my training is a lot better! I was also bored by the wii fit, but my kids love it 🙂

  • Cindy
    September 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I am perpetually catching up this week!

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      September 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Me too… It’s been a crazy week catching up from the work I missed last week – I hope you are well!

  • Chris
    September 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I have Wii Fit (it was $99 Canadian) and while I think that using it for the actual fitness can be a bit of a drag, I used it as my scale during weight loss and continue to do so now. I have done the yoga and stuff on it too and while I have no doubt that an actual yoga class would be far better, It does do a good job of showing my balance and I can see how I have improved over time.

    There are a few blogs and sites dedicated to people that have used it sucessfully to shed pounds, but just like your point about other ‘gimmicks’ it’s all about how you use it, where you starting point and desired finishing point is as well.

    September 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Looks like everyone is catching up – yay! I feel better now! Did not write about gimmicks yet, but here are my posts that sort of tie in with the other two themes:

    Things I need to work on:



  • 148641518497843
    November 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    haha! I totally purchased one of those ab belts when I was in college! LOL