to Accessorize Your Workout
(Without Going Broke)
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What do you
really need? It's hard to turn on the TV without being prodded to buy some type
of "essential" gizmo that's a guaranteed fitness-model makeover. From the
ThighMaster to the Gazelle to Bowflex, there's an endless array of options, and
many require more commitment from your bank account than from your
cardiovascular system. Here are 10 sensible fitness accessories that won't
require you to scrap your kids' college fund.
- Polar Heart Rate Monitor ($60$160). From entry
level to models designed specifically for weight control, the Polar heart rate
monitor is the most cost effective way to know the right intensity for your
workout and to get positive feedback from your workout.
- Athletic shoes ($50$100). We don't all need a
pair of Air Jordan's, but shoes matter, a lot. Bad footwear can lead to injury,
and working out while injured is not only counterproductive, but miserable.
Have your gait analyzed at a reputable store and spend a bit extra for your
shoes. It can change your life.
- Exercise bands ($20$30). Even if you use weights,
elastic or rubber exercise bands enable you to work out anytime and anywhere.
Call 'em excuse eliminators.
- Jump rope ($10$50). Probably the single most
effective fitness movement, good ol' jumping rope can be used almost anywhere,
and in 20 minutes you'll be gassed.
- Push-up stands ($20$40). They take the strain off of
your wrists, the most common excuse for skipping push-ups. Plus, you can drop
deeper, making the exercise more effective and versatile.
- George Foreman Grill ($40$80). Especially if you're
not too savvy in the kitchen, this simple device makes healthy cooking a snap.
And nothing revamps your figure as quickly as your diet.
- DVDs ($15$65). Whether you use Rocky, Blue
Crush, Enter the Dragon, or Pretty Woman, motivation is an
essential part of reaching your goals. And not much inspires as well as good
- CDs (about $20). Unless, of course, it's music. The right
music can turn a listless aerobic session into a turbo-charged
- New workout clothes (under $100). You can't argue with the
motivational intangible provided by wearing something new. If you think you
look good, you do look good.
- Annual park and/or recreation pass ($20$65). No
matter where you live, there's a place nearby offering scenic beauty and myriad
recreational opportunities. Purchasing an annual pass will motivate you to
actually use it. Then just try and sit inside on a perfect summer afternoon.
Being outdoors is addictive.