Monday, December 15, 2008

5 Home Gym Essentials for Under $50

Is an expensive home gym or membership keeping you from really enjoying your workout? The great news: It is possible to get an awesome, all body workout with just a few FUN tools that are all under $5o. Plus you'll prevent boredom with your workout by changing it up everyday! Here are my top picks:

Rebounder Also known as the mini trampoline, the rebounder is gaining in popularity because of its zero-impact status and ease of use. Why you should get one: it's perfect for all ages, there's a variety of exercises you can do as you increase your level of fitness, it makes your cells stronger (some even say helps your vision. Who would've thought?), and it's great for cardio-respiratory. But more than that, it's just plain fun!

Hula Hoop Are you feeling like a kid yet? Maybe that's what we need to not take working out so seriously! Why you gotta have the hula hoop: I used it for a week and noticed definite toning in my already noticeable abs. You want a six pack? Hula for a few minutes every other day. It also gets your heart rate up there so you know you're gettin' some cardio. The only drawback: beginning hula-hoopers must notice some bruising or tenderness in the ab region if you're not used to a weighted exercise hoop. Take it really slow to start.

Wobble Board Best if used in an environment where you don't mind getting laughed at! Just kidding, the wobble board is awesome to improve your balance and ankle joints (and who doesn't have weak ankles these days). Why it's a must: great core workout, can be added to lots of pilates or yoga exercises, it's really small, and you can do it while watching TV!

Resistance Bands Yep, I had to throw something in here that seemed more like work than play. We gotta face it, girls, we can't get that full-body workout unless we do those muscles too! Bands are great because: they're easier, more portable, and more versatile than free weights, they can be attached to a door frame to increase the range of motion and exercises, and you can work a lot of muscles with just one set. Plus they're cheap!

Stability Ball I had to put this in here because it's my favorite. Never do I feel so good as I do when rolling around on a stability ball. Why you absolutely positively need one: it stretches out all your sore muscles and leaves you relaxed, you can get an awesome ab and back workout without really feeling like you're exercising, it's fun to bounce on, and in case of a seating shortage they make great chairs. Who wouldn't want one?!

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