SurfShelf, Bodylastics Fitness Tubes, -- Reviews
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SurfShelf, Bodylastics Fitness Tubes, -- Reviews

The Diet Detective investigates the SurfShelf, Bodylastics Fitness Tubes, and Find out if you should use these fitness tools.


The Why: It's cool to be able to use your computer (watch online videos, check e-mails) while you're on the treadmill or elliptical trainer. This special shelf holds laptops up to 15 inches wide and weighing up to 15 pounds right on your treadmill.

The Health Bonus: You'll exercise longer and harder because you'll be entertained.

What We Liked Best: It's sturdy, inexpensive, and fits most machines.

What We Liked Least: If you're engrossed, you could fall off the exercise machine. Plus, if you're too distracted, you might not exercise hard enough.

What It Replaces: Newspapers, magazines, and TV programs you don't want to watch.

The Price: $59.95.

Other Offerings: SurfShelf has a new video and entertainment Web site ( designed specifically for the online exerciser.

The Why: If you have only a few ingredients in your home, will find recipes from the Web that use what's in your pantry. There are currently more than 250,000 recipes sorted by ingredients.

The Health Bonus: You can finally cook healthfully with ingredients right in your kitchen.

What We Liked Best: Using the "Recommended" section, you can instantly find out what flavors go well together.

What We Liked Least: The Supercook search engine doesn't test or rate recipes, so you have to check to make sure the site actually providing the recipe is legit.

What It Replaces: Not cooking, or searching through cookbooks and recipe sites.

The Price: Free.


Bodylastics Max Tension Fitness Tubes System

The Why: We were skeptical at first, but these elastic fitness tubes really do work. The surgical-quality elastic resistance bands create tension and stress on your muscles as they move.

The Health Bonus: A toned, lean body with very little expense and plenty of portability.

What We Liked Best: There are 140 exercise video demonstrations on the Web site broken down by body part.

What We Liked Least: The DVD and manual should be free with the tubes but cost $4 extra.

What It Replaces: Expensive home gym equipment, weights and/or a gym.

The Price: $59.95.

Other Offerings: Terrell Owens Super Strong Man Fitness Tubes System, Basic Tension Fitness Tubes System.

Where to Buy:


Ingredients: Surgical-grade elastic tubing, solid aluminum clips, handles, ankle straps, door anchor, manual and DVD, travel bag, and free online video instructions.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, founder and editor of, the health and fitness network and author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible. Copyright 2008 by Charles Stuart Platkin. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission from, August 2008.