Have you ever been tempted to pick up the phone to order that one piece of equipment that will help you firm and flatten your abs and give you the body you've always dreamed of?

Push pause first! Avoid ordering on impulse or because of a promise of yet another perk like "if you order in the next two minutes you'll receive…" There's a cost for that offer!

When it comes to working out, there is no big fitness secret and there is no quick-and-easy shortcut. Achieving a healthy weight and fitness level takes time and consistent effort. That being said, there are endless options for equipment that can help you with your workouts or simply serve as motivation.

I believe that's where value comes into play with your decision on purchasing home equipment. Working out at home can be tough. If some ridiculous ab product motivates you to get off the couch and you end up doing some walking or stair climbs and start thinking about eating right, it's an invaluable tool!

To make sure you don't get swayed by flashy infomercials, however, here are some tips to keep in mind before you make a purchase.

Tips for TV Fitness Gadgets

  • Make a list and check it twice. Infomercials are packed with motivational stories, testimonials, hot music and hot bodies. Make a list that includes your objectives along with the budget and space you have available. Before you buy that magic piece of fitness equipment, make sure that matches your list and needs.
  • Find out first hand. Check with friends, family and co-workers to see if anyone you know has ordered or tried the product. This may help you find out fact from fiction.
  • Buy local! Avoid a lot of issues by waiting until the product is available in stores, which now happens quite quickly.
  • Happy returns! Make sure you check the return policies as they vary dramatically from store to store. If ordering online or from the infomercial, you can likely return. But the shipping will be on you -- both ways -- which may end up being more than you spent on the product!

For a full list of the equipment and ratings featured on this segment, please visit: www.libbynorris.com.