BBB: Weigh your fitness resolution carefully - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

BBB: Weigh your fitness resolution carefully

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Beginning a new year seems like a natural time to set new goals. For many, that means taking steps toward becoming more fit. Whether it involves joining a fitness club or taking dietary supplements - or both - the Better Business Bureau advises moving cautiously.

When looking to join a health club, it is good to:

First, DETERMINE YOUR FITNESS GOALS. Doing so in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you. It is also a good idea to check with your physician before embarking on a new fitness regiment, especially if you have a medical condition.

Second, CHECK BBB.ORG. The Better Business Bureau has Business Profiles on more than 15,000 health clubs, fitness centers and gyms. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the businesses respond to complaints. This information may help you narrow down the list of facilities you want to tour in person.

Third, UNDERSTAND THE TERMS. Walk away from clubs that pressure you to sign a contract on the spot. The BBB recommends taking a sample contract home to review before making a decision. Make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing.  What happens if you move or the gym goes out of business? Will your membership renew automatically at the end of the term? Can you get out of the contract altogether and under what circumstances? Do some research and make an informed decision.

Some may determine to add diet supplements to their exercise routine. If so, remember to:

  • AVOID "CURE-ALLS." No one pill, especially an unverified supplement, is going to help you magically lose weight or gain muscle.
  • WATCH OUT FOR TRICKY ADS. Be wary of claims that promise immediate, effortless and/or guaranteed weight loss. Also, watch for buzzwords like "breakthrough," "secret," "exclusive," or "miraculous" in advertisements. These are not scientific words and often appear in misleading promotions for fraudulent products.
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH. It is important to have a good understanding of any products you intend to buy. Again, the BBB website is a good place to begin. Also, if you believe that a business may be falsely advertising product information, contact the Better Business Bureau so that they can contact the business and ask that they substantiate, discontinue or modify the advertisement. 

Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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