Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wackiest Fitness Products

Some people will do or buy just about anything to stay fit. Meet ten weird and useless products that will make you want to stay fat.

The Hawaii Chair


The Hawaii Chair's motto is “if you can sit, you can get fit.” It's essentially an office chair whose seat spins and vibrates to keep you constantly off balance. They claim that you can use it in the office while you work, but this clip of Ellen DeGeneres testing it out on her show tells a different story. The Hawaii Chair may not be an effective fitness tool, but at least you will get a pretty good ab workout from laughing so hard at this video.

The Dumbbell Phone


The art of useless Japanese inventions known as Chindogu brings us an attachment for the telephone! If you wish you were building biceps instead of sitting in your cubical, this stupid fitness gadget might be the answer to all of your problems. Sure, you'll look like a tool and everyone in the office will make fun of you. But that's not as important as those giant 12-inch guns you can develop every time you pick up the phone. But wait, it gets better… We'll even have one of our “personal fitness trainers” call you every hour on the hour. That's eight workouts for every day you're in the office.

The Thigh Master


Who can forget those weird clips of Suzanne Somers sitting alone in a formal living room, joyously squeezing her thighs open and close? Or the 60-something-year-old surgeon who claims, “I recommend it and use it.” The Thigh Master was released in 1991 and was based in a theory that if you exercise a particular muscles group (like your thighs) you will burn fat from that area. Not true. Any health and fitness expert will tell you to lose excess fat, wherever it may be stored on your body, requires you to burn more calories than you consume. Used consistently the Thigh Master will tone and strengthen your muscles in your thighs and other areas. But if they are still hidden under a layer of fat you won't see much difference.

Bounce Back Chair


According to its website, the Bounce Back Chair combines the cellular exercise of rebounding with the safety and comfort of a chair. The Bounce Back Chair is a no impact rebounding chair that is ideal for people of all ages, including the elderly, people recovering from injuries, or for those who need to slowly ease into an exercise program. Who would expect to lose weight sitting in a chair?

Coin Operated Fitness Vending Machine


Another product of Japan, the coin-operated Konbini fitness machine moves around under your feet. It's supposed to strengthen your core muscles, improve balance and burn calories. The cost? $4.00 for ten minutes. Convenient for people who have little time for a gym, or for those who do not want to invest in home equipment they know they'll barely use.

The Dumbbell Drinker


Designer Jin Le certainly has a humorous take on things, coming up with the Dumbbell Sports Drink. This plastic bottle might possibly go a long way in helping us keep the environment clean. Once we're done with the contents inside, there is no need to throw this away as you can always extend its use by virtue of filling it up with soil or water. The unique shape turns it into an impromptu dumbbell, letting you work out those biceps while you're at the office.

Tongue Patch


Some people still take the "no pain, no gain" slogan to the gym. But it takes a certain type of bravery to take the theory all the way into the doctor's chair as he stitches a prolene patch to your tongue. Dr. Nikolas Chugay, a plastic surgeon in private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif., developed the tongue patch as a temporary way to lose "20 to 40 pounds." According to Chugay, the tongue patch is a prolene mesh the size of a stamp. All you need is about four stitches to attach it to the tongue. The prolene patch makes it uncomfortable, if not painful, to chew solid food. Chugay has implanted the patch in more than 10 patients, and sells a liquid drink mix to the dieters to ensure more calories are cut. Chugay said his drink is "about 700 calories per day, so it's a low caloric intake. It has carbs, proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals. "Some people still manage to eat solid foods even despite of the patch, but it's a good way of helping people not to cheat," he said. After a month-long liquid diet, Chugay will snip off the patch, releasing his patients into the world of solid food again.

Sanitized Tape Worms

The banner of this pre-war advertisement poster, promising to banish fat without fancy diets or exercise, could come from any age. However, today's consumer might find the recommended remedy a little harder to swallow. There are few who would seriously contemplate adding "sanitized tape worms" to the breakfast menu. Yet the thought of sharing meals with a thriving colony of "friends for a fair form", it appears, was not enough to dissuade the health conscious of the 1930s, who paid up in their multitudes for this product. The mechanism was that after swallowing the parasites, they'd nest in your gut and feed off digesting food. Yummy!



The Battle Creek Vibratory Chair


In the early 20th century, the Battle Creek Sanitarium was one of the most famous health resorts in the world. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the chief of staff; his brother Will Keith Kellogg was the San's bookkeeper. From their diet program came Kellogg's Corn Flakes; from the mechanotherapy department came the vibratory chair. The chair shakes rather violently and is painful to sit in but after a few minutes of treatment it would supposedly stimulate intestinal peristalsis. A longer treatment would cure headaches and back pain and would also increase the supply of healthy oxygen to the body.

The Combustible Gas Powered Pogo Stick


Part pogostick, part jack hammer, this little machine promised you would be shedding the pounds faster than you would imagine. Gas-powered pogo sticks were marketed for a brief period in the early 60's by Chance Manufacturing of Wichita, Kansas, under the trademark "Hop Rod". There may even have been a "Hop Rod" race before the Indianapolis 500 motor race, once, as a publicity stunt. The gas-powered pogo stick is no longer commercially available, as far as we know, for what seems to be obvious reasons: These things were dangerous! Think of riding a jackhammer, without a hose tethering you to a compressor.

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