Getting in shape without a gym

Consumer Reports has advice for home gym for less

Almost one-third of people have already given up on their New Year's resolutions, but if getting in shape is your goal for 2013, Consumer Reports has advice on how to set up a home gym for less.

"All you need are a few inexpensive props and a good fitness routine to get started," said Consumer Reports' Gayle Williams.

One prop you can buy is a stability ball, which can help build your core strength and improve your balance. You can also use it to tone your glutes and legs. The stability balls cost about $30.

Another instant cardio workout is jumping rope for 15 minutes. A jump rope with nonslip foam handles is best. It will cost you about $6.

You can also try hula hooping. Not only is it a good cardio exercise, it's also great for your core.

"Elastic bands or tubes are another great item to have," Williams said. "You can use them for resistance training to strengthen and tone your muscles."

An item that might come in handy is an exercise mat. The extra cushioning is helpful for push-ups and other exercises you do on the floor. The price is about $20.

Free weights are another useful tool. A pair cost anywhere from $10 to $60.

"If you can, buy two pairs; a lighter pair to work your arms and shoulders and a heavier pair to work your back and chest," Williams said.

To develop a good exercise routine with aerobic exercise, aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Another great form of exercise that doesn't have to cost a thing is walking. If the weather's not great, walk at the mall, but just be sure to skip the food court.

A pedometer is handy for tracking how much you walk. You can buy one for $20 to $30 or a pedometer app on your smartphone for around $4.

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