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Are you one of the millions of people who’ve made a resolution to take care of their body by exercising more in 2022? Whatever your reasons for wanting to up your exercise game, the benefits go beyond just getting into shape.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity combats weight gain, helps you fight disease and health conditions, boosts energy and mood and, perhaps most importantly, is a major de-stressor. So where to start buying home workout equipment without shelling out thousands for an exercise bike or elliptical?
If guidance is your thing, there are countless video apps and services to join, many with free trials. Aaptiv, Fitbod, Sworkit and FitOn range from free to premium, or offer free trials to get you started on your running, cardio or strength training journey, and there are endless free workouts on YouTube.
However, you’re still going to need some gear to help you get moving, so we turned to Jessica Rae, founder of Rae Studios in San Francisco and FitReserve Anywhere trainer, for some tips about low-cost equipment to enhance your DIY workouts.
Just add water — a little or a lot — to adjust the weight of this at-home kettlebell that can help improve your balance and endurance.
These popular weighted bangles, which you’ve probably seen on Instagram, let you integrate fitness into your everyday life. We put them on our wrists or ankles for a morning walk, and our workout is instantly heightened — you’ll definitely feel their impact!
This cooling performance fabric towel is perfect to wipe down sweat after a hot workout.
Highly rated, visually appealing and easy to pack up and take with you — there’s not much we don’t like about this mat you can use for yoga, stretching and floor workouts.
ProsourceFit Extra-Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat ($18.99, originally $31.99; walmart.com)
One of the highest-rated yoga mats we’ve found, this model from ProsourceFit comes in eight attractive colorways and is 1.5 inches thick to give you more support and cushion during your workout.
“I have a large background in MMA, specifically kickboxing, and jumping rope is a large part of our cardio warm-up,” says Rae. “It’s usually a few rounds of jacks, jump rope and shadowboxing into mitt work.” This electronic rope is surprisingly high-tech for the price. It features electronic counting of calories, miles and kilometers, a one-click button to view exercise results and anti-slip handles.
This beloved jump rope has handles that weigh .5 pounds each, adding to your workout intensity.
This heavy-duty rope will challenge your body and target your muscles, helping you burn fat at home.
“If you like to invest in workout accessories that are well made, this is your rope,” writes one 5-star reviewer of this smooth-spinning, premium jump rope.
For all the bouncing, jumping and running around you’re going to be doing, you’re going to need performance-inspired trainers. This pair from New Balance is the lightest trainer we’ve ever worn, and they slip on easily, without a lot of fuss.
The Adidas NMD’s have long been a favorite comfy sneaker of ours for workouts, athleisure looks and everything in between. Find more of our top-rated, super-comfy sneakers here.
“I see the benefits of a trampoline dedicating a practice to balance, coordination, mobility, core and overall cardiovascular fitness,” says Rae. This 36-inch trampoline, which can hold up to 250 pounds, folds up for easy storage and weighs only 14 pounds itself. Reviewers love the thing too, with more than 4,000 5-star reviews.
Easy to store in a closet or behind a door, a mini trampoline takes up very little space and offers a great calorie-blasting workout. Get your bounce on with this nearly silent rebounder — supportive of up to 450 pounds — that you can “feel in your legs after five minutes,” according to reviewers.
Rae also suggests an exercise barre, sliders and resistance bands to complement your home workouts.
Undersun Fitness Resistance Loop Bands, 5-Pack ($78.95; amazon.com)
This set of bands comes with access to a training program that will get you started with rows, pulls, raises and fly workout sets to exercise your arms, back, hips, legs, chest and abdominal region.
Bala Resistance Bands, 5-Pack ($15, originally $20; amazon.com)
This set includes five resistance bands of various strengths with inspirational sayings like “Don’t stop now” and “Keep moving” written across them — plus a bag to neatly store them away.
Smooth on the bottom, sliders let you glide along a slick surface like a wood or tile floor. They work by making your body try to balance, which strengthens your core muscles.
Thirty48 Gliding Discs Core Sliders and 5 Exercise Resistance Bands ($15.95; amazon.com)
This set of sliders and resistance bands includes everything you need to get a core and strength routine going.
BalanceFrom Bike Trainer Stand ($40.49; amazon.com)
If you’re off the road for the winter but missing the feeling of getting on your bike, this highly rated stand easily converts a road bike to an indoor cycle. Take a spin class on an app, or just crank some tunes and pedal away!
Ready to make the jump into indoor cycling but don’t want to spend a lot or don’t have a lot of space? Try this folding upright bike that Amazon shoppers love.
This under-desk pedal exerciser probably won’t have you working up a sweat, but if you’re concerned about being too sedentary, this highly rated little machine is, according to one reviewer, “super quiet and also comes with resistance bands if you want to add upper-body exercises,” if you need a gentle workout.