This week’s top stories about exercising with fitness products.

Before we know it, summer will be here, so now is the perfect time to think about getting that winter body back in shape. Getting started isn’t easy, and getting fit can be a big commitment, especially if you are time-poor and hate crowded gyms.

If you have the determination to succeed and the willpower to stick to a diet and exercise plans, your goals will be achievable. These days you don’t even need to go to the expense of hiring a personal trainer, there are many great online tutorials and workout plans available that can help you reach your goals.

Exercising using your *home gym*-

CARDIO

•    A punching bag is a great cardio workout. Watch online videos to get the most out of your workout, if you use the right techniques, and put in the time you can get a full-body workout that will see you building up a sweat in no time.

•    A rowing machine helps build and tone muscles while improving your endurance and strengthening your cardio. Rowing machines are perfect for burning calories, so if you want to lose weight these machines are great to add to a home gym. If you suffer from knee or back pain and find running or bike riding difficult a rowing machine puts very little strain on those areas.

•    A stationary bike allows you to peddle at your own pace, from a full-on cardio and sweat building workout to a gentler ride as you slowly build up muscles and cardio fitness.

•    Elliptical machines aren’t cheap, but they provide you with a low impact workout, perfect for those with back or joint issues as you get a great workout without injuring yourself. As with a stationary bike, if you set yourself up in front of the TV, you can still watch your favourite shows and get fit at the same time.

•    Treadmills – if you can afford one they provide a great workout and you can go for your daily run or walk any time of the day or night, and, it won’t matter what the weather is like, hot, cold, wet or dry – there are no excuses!

STRENGTH

•    Weights, small hand weights are versatile, from adjustable weights to a small selection of varying weights, you can start off small/light and challenge yourself by varying your workouts and weights as you gain strength.

•    A weight bench adds to your workout allowing you to switch positions and keep good form, hurting yourself is the last thing you want to do.

•    Medicine Balls or weight balls are great for a machine-free workout, perfect if you don’t have a lot of space, surprisingly you can give yourself a whole-body workout using sit-ups, curls, lunges, and squats.

FLEXIBILITY

•    Exercise mats – if you are thinking of trying your hand at Yoga, a good comfortable exercise mat is a must-have. Exercise mats can also be used for Pilates, push-ups, sit-ups and other pre-workout stretching.

•    Foam Rollers are the perfect way to end your workout and alleviate some of the soreness you might be feeling – especially on your *off days*.

Working out on a budget

•    Pull up bars can be set up in a doorway, challenge yourself to do one or two pull-ups every time you walk through, you’ll be amazed how quickly your muscle tone will improve.

•    Jump rope – while you may not have used one since school, they are a very cheap way to get the blood flowing. Great for cardio as 10 minutes jumping rope is the equivalent of a 30-minute run.

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