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Get Fit for $200 or less

July 29th, 2009

While you can get a lot of essential fitness equipment for under $50 you'll add a lot of fun and challenge if you can spare just a few hundred more.

$200 - You could choose to blow it all on a bargain basement elliptical trainer, which is an ok choice if you find one that’s comfortable, easy-to-use and the right size in that price range. It’s also a good idea if you’ve already got a number of strength training accessories, such as resistance bands, free weights and balls. But if your fitness cabinet is bare, you're better off starting out with a variety of versatile pieces rather than one big item that will most likely end up gathering dust. Dumbbells, resistance bands and stability balls are a must. You can get all three for $50 to $80.

Videos add variety

Most people find the more variety they have in their fitness routine, the more likely they are to stick to it. Buying fitness videos ranging from Pilates and yoga to dance and kickboxing (or Carmen Electra’s risqué Aerobic Striptease series for something really different) can give you that variety for about $10 to $20 bucks a pop. The equipment you buy should complement the variety of videos you choose.

Equipment that offers cardio and strength benefits

A BOSU ball costs between $80 to $100 and is great for doing butt and thigh toning squats. It will also let you really target your core and upper body by adding difficulty to planks and push-ups. You won’t be missing out in the cardio department because a BOSU’s good for that too. It can be used in place of a step for extra intense aerobic workouts. Why buy a machine that has one boring use when you can spend less and have a lot more options.

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