Infomercial Exercisers: Which Work?

Consumer Reports puts nine to the test: Do they really work?

Consumer Reports tested several heavily-advertised devices. They promise a cardiovascular workout.

Many claim to strengthen your abs.

Panelists say the $100 Ab Rocket proved slightly less effective than traditional ab exercises.

Even less effective-the $230 Rock 'n Go. None of the panelists who tried it said they'd buy it.

Two of the cardiovascular exercisers gave a pretty good workout.

The $200 Cardio Twister and the $80 Rock 'n Roll Stepper burned about the same number of calories as walking briskly on a flat treadmill.

The Bowflex TreadClimber turned out to be even more effective.

"Walking on the TreadClimber at the highest speed burns about the same amount of calories as running on a treadmill at six miles per hour." said Consumer Reports Sue Booth.

But the panelists had to really concentrate to stay on the machine's belts.

And the Bowflex TreadClimber is also the most expensive machine in the tests, $2500.

Consumer Reports says that before you buy any exercise equipment, you want to ask about return policies, and be wary of promises like a 30-day money-back guarantee.

That sounds good, but returning the product won't be easy if it's heavy or bulky.

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