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No-Sweat Shopping : With Catalogues, Buying Fitness Equipment Is No Longer a Race Against Time

December 18, 1987|From Times Wire Services

Some of us were born to shop, others were born to run. But with the demands of modern life, few of us have the time to do both.

Now, thanks to new, sophisticated and specialized catalogues, we can shop for everything we need for our fitness life styles and still have plenty of time left over for workouts.

We can get the latest in workout gear and active apparel without worrying about parking, baby sitters or traffic. And we don't have to be couch potatoes to appreciate the convenience of ordering equipment while lounging in our favorite armchair near the fire.

Even if you don't intend to buy, these catalogues are great dream books and fun to look at. All of the catalogues listed here are free--it doesn't cost anything to fantasize--so call and order a copy of the mail-order magazine that interests you. Savvy marketers have taken the fear out of ordering by mail--most firms allow you to return merchandise if you are not completely satisfied. And shopping by mail lets you find some great items you might not find in local stores, so you can wow your workout cohorts.

California Cargo. P. O. Box 4178, 5355-J Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, Calif. 92008; (800) 223-2526; in California, (800) 445-4343; in Canada, (415) 438-3388.

Named for the state that invented the fitness life style, California Cargo brings you products to complement your active life. It specializes in active apparel and fitness accessories, and you can choose from a wide array of leotards and crazily patterned tights for your workout wardrobe. The company also carries sweat suits, swim suits and fun casual wear made of cool, comfortable cotton. If your workouts take you outdoors, you can get hats and sunglasses, as well as attractive bags in which to tote your workout gear. Best of all, you can order Avias-- a sports show in all the latest models--from home. An added plus--Cargo carries fitness shoes in hard-to-find sizes, from 4 to 11.

The newest addition to this catalogue is contemporary and fashionable active wear for the larger-sized woman, which is often difficult to find in stores. For the newest miniskirt look, you can get chic "city tights" made of cotton and spandex in a rainbow of colors. Every item is guaranteed. Published four times yearly, each edition of California Cargo has something new to offer.

Carolina Health & Fitness. 1308 Rainey St., Burlington, N.C. 27215-4117; (800) 342-9990; in North Carolina, (800) 222-3922; in Canada, (919) 229-1300.

Carolina Health & Fitness uses its medical experts to bring you health-enhancing products for your fitness life style. This catalogue presents a large line of exercise machines and devices, as well as weights from leading manufacturers. You can get everything from a ballet bar, Triangle weights and a Turntec rowing machine to old-fashioned jump ropes.

And if you have overdone it during workouts and have a lasting injury or sore spot, you can order ankle, wrist, back, elbow, knee or shin supports, so that you can keep up your workouts with less pain. For those interested in health education, Carolina Health & Fitness offers videos, tapes and an at-home fitness test.

For those who like to watch what they eat, the catalogue sells an electronic calorie counter and a food computer, which tells you the nutritional value of your next snack. Hard-to-find decaffeinated black teas as well as a home herb garden kit can enhance your healthful meals. Also offered is an emergency home dental kit. An extensive line of orthopedic and lumbar pillows, cushions and supports will keep you comfortably aligned. Every item is unconditionally guaranteed.

Jazzertogs. 2808 Roosevelt, Carlsbad, Calif. 92008; (800) FIT-IS-IT.

Judi Sheppard Missett, creator of the fantastically successful Jazzercise dance-exercise franchises, presents this quarterly catalogue for those who love to dance--and look good at the same time. Within the pages of Jazzertogs, you will find avant-garde active wear in a variety of colors and patterns from such leading designers as Leotardo Da Vinci, Danskin, Cathy George, Designer Sport and Flexatard.

In addition to leotards, Jazzertogs carries a wide selection of unitards, leggings, tights and briefs, as well as the Signature line of Jazzercise fitness clothes. The Jazzercise fan can choose from a line of products--visors, beach towels, mugs and water bottles--that carry the distinctive Jazzercise logo. You can also order the Jazzercise line of aerobics shoes. And if you prefer to work out at home, you can dance with Judi Sheppard Missett via her audio cassettes, videos and albums, all available through Jazzertogs.

Performance Bicycle Shop. P. O. Box 2741, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 (800) 334-5471; in North Carolina (800) 554-4583; in Canada, (919) 933-9113.

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