Consumer Report: Getting Fit Without a Gym

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

Getting more exercise is a top New Year’s resolution. And you can do that without going to a high-priced gym. All you need are a few inexpensive props and a good fitness routine to get started.

Take a stability ball. It can help build your core strength and improve your balance. You can also use it to tone your glutes and legs. Its cost is about $30.

An instant cardio workout is jumping rope for 15 minutes. A jump rope with nonslip foam handles is the best. The price is about $6. Or you can try hula hooping. Not only is it a good cardio exercise but it’s also great for your core! A hula hoop costs about $6.

Elastic bands or tubes are also great items to have. You can use them for resistance training to strengthen and tone your muscles. They start at about $8.

Also handy is an exercise mat. The extra cushioning is helpful for push-ups and other exercises you do on the floor. A mat is about $20.

And free weights are another useful tool. A pair costs $10 to $60. If you can, buy two pairs—a lighter pair to work your arms and shoulders, and a heavier pair to work your back and chest.

To develop a good exercise routine with aerobic exercise, aim for 30 minutes five days a week. And do strength training two to three days a week.

Another great form of exercise that doesn’t have to cost a thing is plain old walking. If the weather’s not great, walk at the mall. Just be sure to skip the food court! A pedometer is handy for tracking how much you walk. You can buy one for $20 to $30, or buy a pedometer app for your phone for around $4.

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  • by Audrey Location: Lansing on Jan 24, 2013 at 05:27 PM
    I have lost 105 pounds with Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVD's. The videos are less than $10 and you can get them at or even Walmart. She uses a balance approach and conditions muscles all around your body. She's encouraging and it is so easy to do. You feel so good when you start losing weight and you never regret walking with her.
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