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Ten Ways 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ol' Hollywood.

  8. CDs (about $20). Unless, of course, it's music. The right music can turn a listless aerobic session into a turbo-charged sweatfest.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.
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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life as a full-time Team Beachbody Coach since 2007. more...

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