Getting Fit Without A Gym

Getting more exercise is a top New Year's resolution. But you can skip the January rush to join a gym! Consumer Reports has advice on how to set up a home gym for less.

Can't afford a high-priced gym? Never fear. Consumer Reports says you can get in shape at home without spending lots of money.

Gayle Williams of Consumer Reports says, "All you need are a few inexpensive props and a good fitness routine to get started."

Take the stability ball. It can help build your core strength and improve your balance. You can also use it to tone glutes and legs. Cost-about 30 dollars.

Here's an instant cardio workout-jumping rope for 15 minutes. A jump rope with nonslip foam handles is the best. Price-around six dollars.

Or you can try hula hopping. Not only is it a good cardio exercise, it's also great for your core!

Anne Galletta says, "In ten weeks, I lost two and a half inches off my waist!"

Williams says, "Elastic bands or tubes are another great item to have. You can use them for resistance training to strengthen and tone your muscles."

Cost-eight dollars and up.

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

And free weights are another useful tool. A pair costs anywhere from 10 to 60 dollars.

Williams says, "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.

Anita Bae says, "Just put on a pair of sweats, you pick up a pair of hand weights, and you're ready to go."

Another great form of exercise that doesn't have to cost a thing is plain old walking. If the weather's not too great, walk at the mall. Just be sure to skip the food court.

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