We all need exercise, but that doesn't mean you need a pricey gym membership to stay in shape. We've rounded up 3 essential items you can use to get fit without ever leaving the house.
Let's start with a little strength training.
If you're aiming to gain functional strength rather than big muscles, try using resistance bands. The bands may look simple, but they're actually very versatile. Just hook them on a door, table or any immovable object and you can do a whole range of full body exercises.
Sets can cost anywhere from $10 to $150, so shop around to see which type works for you.
But all the muscles in the world won't help you without a little endurance, which is why a good jump rope should also be on your list.
They've been used by athletes and boxers for years to build conditioning, speed and core strength. And best of all, they only cost about $10 and travel easily.
Last but certainly not least, there's the stability ball. It's one of the most important things to have in your home gym and you can find it for as low as $10. Ab crunches, squats, hamstring curls - this simple ball can do it all, while improving your core strength and balance.
So depending on what your goals are, you can still get fit and save big by incorporating these fitness essentials into your home gym.
Just don't let your favorite TV show distract you!
Related: 6 low-cost aids for your fitness program
New Year, New You: 6 Low-Cost Aids for Your Fitness Program
Get Financially Fit with a Home Gym
New Years is a time of rebirth -- little surprise, then, that so many people choose it as a time for trying to build themselves a new body, either through exercise or dieting. Unfortunately, even the best intentions have a hard time surviving the January freeze, and many people abandon their fitness routines before February.
If you're looking for some assistance on your journey to better health -- inexpensive assistance, of course, because so many of us have resolved to get our finances in shape, too -- here are a few smart, low-cost items that can help you get on track to a new body in the new year!
Fitness fads come and go, but most experts agree that the secret to getting fit is actually pretty simple: to lose weight, most people need to eat less and work out more. But, when it comes to actually tracking your food intake and exercise, things can get pretty complicated.
There are a host of websites and apps to help you with this, but my personal favorite is MyFitnessPal. It's free, it has most common foods pre-loaded into its database, and it's easy to add your own favorites. With minimal effort, you can input your goals, get the program's estimate of the number of calories you should be consuming, and start tracking your weight-loss progress.
Whether you plan to run your first marathon or just want to walk around the block every day, the first step is setting a goal. Choose something that is attainable, yet ambitious, the kind of aspiration that will push you to achieve, without making you feel overwhelmed. MyFitnessPal encourages users to set themselves a target weight, and other apps -- like the Couch to 5K program -- are designed to help you realize your goals. And the best part about setting a goal? It's free.
When it comes to working out, the best route is probably a gym membership. The trouble is, memberships can be expensive, and studies have shown that 4 out of 5 people who have gym memberships don't actually use them. If you're interested in doing more exercise, but aren't sure that you're going to be able to commit to hitting the gym at least a few times a week, you might consider boosting the effectiveness of your at-home workouts with a set of $5 resistance bands.
For that matter, a set of cheap dumbbells can add a lot more power to your workout, be it a half-hour aerobic routine or a walk around the block. And, at $3 and up, they're far less expensive than a gym membership or a Bowflex.
Experts agree that green tea is one of the most useful nutritional supplements when it comes to losing body fat. The recommended amount is the equivalent of nine cups per day, which explains why many people take their tea in pill form. But if you're up for going the tasty and natural route, prices start at $2 for twenty tea bags.
When it comes to performance-boosting supplements, the go-to ingredient is usually caffeine. If you're interested in something a little different, you might want to try ginseng. While it has been used for centuries as a natural remedy in Asia, contemporary studies have shown that, among other benefits, the herb can boost muscle endurance, aid in muscle recovery, and support the immune system. Ginseng tea is available at numerous health stores, and ginseng energy shots cost a little over $2 apiece.