Positive thinking is great, but nothing combats hardcore stress like a good old-fashioned workout. No fancy gym membership with high-tech machines and spin classes? No worries. The steals we found require nothing but personal motivation. Used to their maximum potential, these workout tools guarantee you’ll be too endorphin-charged to worry about your 401(k). Your only job? Calorie burning!
1. Yoga mat
Sure, you can use the community yoga mats for free from the gym, but you can also lick a Petri dish (which we also don’t advise). This standard-size version is a calming $17.70, plus you don’t have to worry about who left the very un-Zen-like sweat marks before you. Hello, no brainer!
2. Weighted medicine balls
Two four-pounders from Natural Fitness start at $18 for the set at Target. They’re made of rubber (so they’re durable but easy to handle) and come with exercise diagrams and instructions.
3. A perfect ab workout
Reebok’s Core Ball is a steal at $13 (that’s without the store’s gold card, which drops the price to just over $10). The ball also comes with a hand pump and an exercise chart to guide you through head-to-toe toning moves.
4. Hand weights light on the budget
At GetFitSource, two-pound weights start at just $2.25 and are available up to 10 pounds for just $10.25 each. No bells and whistles, just weights, but that’s all you really need to get sculpted for summer. Need some instruction? If you’ve got a gym, ask a trainer. Or check out your favorite fitness magazine for new monthly workout routines. (Can’t afford the subscription? Here’s how to start a magazine co-op and save.)
5. Muscle-building resistance bands
These brightly colored bits of latex seem fairly innocuous but we guarantee they’ll whip your muscles (flexibility and range of motion) into shape. Six-footers start at under $5 each. You can find a slew of free online videos showing you how to use them.
6. Jump rope and weights combo
Our favorite old-school Rocky Balboa-style of getting fit is skipping rope. Next to running, it’s about the cheapest cardio you can find. Danskin’s 2-in-1 Combination Weighted Speed Rope has removable weights in the handles so you can up the ante on your upper body workout. It’s also adjustable up to nine feet, so it packs easily for road trips.
7. Perspiration-proof running socks
You might think $10 is a lot to pay for something designed to soak up foot sweat, but once you test drive these high-tech moisture wickers from ASICS, you’ll wonder why they don’t make a bodysuit outta this stuff. We say cool, dry feet, even when you’re soaked everywhere else, is totally worth a ten-spot.
8. High-performance sports bra
We’re loving the Adidas Team ClimaCool racerback style. It uses ventilation channels and three-dimensional fabrics to move heat and sweat off the body so moisture evaporates quickly. It passed a test drive through spinning class with flying colors. Bonus: These two aren’t under $25, but they’ll payoff in spades toward your performance!
Garmin Forerunner 50 transmits your running or cycling performance to your computer so you can track workouts over time. It basically does everything (monitors heart rate, distance, pace, calories) except make you a sandwich when you’re done. This baby is $79.99 after a $50 rebate at Costco. You’ve got no more excuses!
MP3 player sans the wires. We’re sporting the $69.99 Sony W Series Walkman with built-in headphones. It’s 2GB, it’s wireless and it’s only 70 bucks.
I am new to the site, but what great finds for Christmas gift ideas! I love the running socks idea for a twist on stocking stuffers!
I know it's pretty old school, but it you are really looking to be frugal and save some money, don't discount this old school tip that my trainer has me doing: for weights at home, start with empty (and cleaned) half gallon milk jugs filled with sand for weights. As you intesify your workout, add more sand. (If you don't have sand, you can improvise; dirt, stones, water...) When you are ready, up it to the next level: gallon size jugs. No money spent and you still are getting your weight lifting in : )
I have 1#, 3# and 5# dumbbells, stairs and multiple exercise videos, what I do not have is the motivation! So I decided just now to write an exercise/food/daily plan on a legal notebook pad - maybe, just maybe I will start "tomorrow." Wish me luck!
Hello everyone,thanks for the tips and the motivation to get startd excercising. Btw Radar525 I totally understand what you mean. I felt the same way when I went to a gym :(
If you have a few more dollars to spend, the Garmin 305(?) is a great product as well with a built in GPS
THANKS for the tips
Great advice thanks for the tips!
Thanks for all the info...
I use the Leslie Sansone "Walk Away the Pounds" dvds for nasty weather days. I just ordered her new 5 mile power walk online with the Walmart site to site section and only paid $6. I enjoy the workout. I have been sick with the flu so I was only able to do 3 miles today but it felt great (it's raining outside right now) Some of her dvd's for under $10 come with the bands which I use in every workout. (I had to pick this up at Walmart with the site to store section but no postage, woohoo!) I bought my hand weights at a moving sale
Just started Yoga, Love it.. thanks
I was able to get an exercise ball with stand, video, a set of 2 lb hand weights and three different levels of exercise bands at Target for $25.00. A Reebok kit was on clearance. I prefer to work out at home as I feel like people are staring at me as I work out? I have lost quite a bit of weight in the last year (yea Lap-Band!) but I am still on the heavy side. I know that the other exercisers aren't really watching me, but whenever I see the "skinny minnies" in the gym, I get really body conscious and shy. Does anybody else feel like that?
Loonadee , let's not forget about the awesome finds at Marshalls & TjMaxx!! Once you get over the dig (they've gotten a little more organized) there is no telling what you will find. Last week I bought an excercise ball, dvd, and pump set for $7. I walked into BB&B and saw the same kit for $39. I felt pretty good ....alone on that isle . (lol) Vaoluptuous , i'm with you ...the sale price provided me NO excuse to leave item in the store . No more "i dont have the equipment" . I just gotta get my bottom in gear!!!
I got that package from Costco and it has been really working! Now only if they couls sell me motivation ... the key is to get out there and DO a little workout, every day!
I've been looking for a good sports bra. I will have to check these suggestions out. As for cheap fitness, I go running with my dog at the park. It's fun and free.
Most cable companies have "On Demand" fitness channels that you can play whenever.