Saying, "Hey! I'm off to the gym!" might sound sexy, but is it worth the membership fees, public showering or commute? Not always. If you want to stay fit, here's a reminder that a few at-home workout helpers can save you time and money. No, we're not talking about a treadmill and PX90 — high expense and a high level of pain isn't always necessary when it comes to fitness and maintaining a healthy, happy outlook. Plus the at-home fitness world has stepped up its game with easily stored offerings that you'll be proud to share with your girlfriends (sorry, Richard Simmons). Check out what we mean below and then get ready to get your home fitness on!
It's Okay to Resist
This set of resistance bands has everything you need (including a workout chart) for a quickie whenever its convenient for you. Once you have some moves memorized, you'll think nothing of throwing it in your suitcase to keep fit on vacation, holiday or a work-related trip. Keeping your muscles working on the regular means keeping your metabolism up.
$24.99 at Amazon
Put a Hoop on It
Combine cardio and core action with a hula hoop workout. This'll keep your midsection refined and defined.
$32.99 at Target
Step It Up
This is the new generation of step workouts. Want full body fitness? This is like a mini trampoline, resistance training and cardio all in one. It'll improve your balance too!
$96 at Gaiam
If you're going to work out at home, you need a yoga mat. These are extra cushy. Need instructions? Inexpensive DVDs abound. Better yet, you can find free instructional videos from pro trainers via the streaming Internet (think YouTube). Design your own floor exercise with leg lifts, sit ups and any other moves you find!
$20.95 at Amazon
Balance ball workouts work your muscles using slow, deliberate positions and fluid movements. For girls who don't always like to wiggle and shake (like me) this is ideal. This one has instructions printed on the side. Could it get simpler?
$24.41 at Amazon
Pick 'em up during your favorite shows, do reps during commercials, kiss those guns goodnight and pat yourself on the back.
Various Prices at Target
Wrist weights can be worn during regular activities at home to add a bit of resistance, giving your muscles something to do while your vacuuming, doing laundry, etc. They can also be worn during any other workout to ramp up the difficulty level.
$12.19 at Target
Wii Wii All the Way Home
Wii Fit is a software (game) that can be bought to use with Nintendo's Wii game console. You can hook up the original or go for the Wii Fit Plus that has its own balance board.
$99.99 in addition to purchase of Wii game console at Wiifit
It's true, there are tons of fitness apps out there for your phone to help get you motivated. But Fitocracy offers a community-based incentive. When you work out, you earn points, you compare points with other Fitocracy friends, you let your good old competitive sprit be your guide.
This is a very interesting gadget indeed. It's a bracelet that actually records your movement and sleeping activity, syncs to your smart phone and acts as a personal life coach/trainer that's with you 24/7. It'll give you advice on what and when to eat, sleep and work out. It can tell you how many calories you've already burned for the day and what to do to burn more.
$149.99 at Lark.com
An invention originally intended for surfers who couldn't get outdoors, this board is now a fitness tool to give anyone that amazing surfer dude (or chic) core. Depending on the package, you buy an instructional DVD is included, as are free videos on the website.
$184.95 at Indoboard.com