Setting up a Home Gym

Consumer Watch Home gyms are all about simplicity and economy. These are some of the tools of the trade; a 5-dollar jump rope, 10-dollar pair of weights, and a 20-dollar ball.

So don't say you can't afford to exercise because, you can't afford not to.

Gyms can offer some great classes and there's no shortage of fancy equipment either! But memberships can easily cost hundreds of dollars a year.

Consumer Reports' Gayle Williams said one way to save is to set up a home gym for under 100 dollars. "You can get a great workout at home with just a few key pieces of equipment."

First, get a cushy floor mat. It can save you from hard floors and itchy carpets. You can use it for sit-ups, yoga, and stretching. It cost, about $15 to $20 dollars.

Think you need fancy machines to tone muscles and do strength training? Consumer Reports said not necessarily!

"Dumbbells and elastic bands are great for improving and keeping muscle tone," said Williams.

You want to get at least two sets of dumbbells, one for regular use and a heavier pair for more challenging workouts. A set like these should cost about $15 dollars each.

Consumer Reports recommends buying two pairs of elastic bands as well; ones that have different levels of resistance. The cost is about $10 to $15 dollars.

For core workouts you can do sit-ups or invest in a stability ball. It can add a variety of new moves to improve your core muscles. A stability-ball costs anywhere from $20 to $40 dollars.

For a cardio work-out, a treadmill can be great. But Consumer Reports said you can save money and space!

"There are so many good workout DVD's out there and they only cost about $15 dollars. You want to make sure you're looking for one that has a combination of strength, flexibility, and cardio routines," said Williams.

Bottom line, you can get a great work-out without spending big bucks. But once you're set up at home there'll be no more, "I can't get to the gym" excuses!

Consumer Reports also tested treadmills and said the Proform Crosswalk 580 is great for walking work-outs. It costs $500 dollars.

If running is more your speed, the Pace Master Platinum Pro VR is a Consumer Reports best buy at $2,000 dollars.


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