fitness

New Budget-Friendly Ways to Workout From Home

NBCUniversal, Inc.

So many things have changed during the past year, including how and where we work out. Some gyms are still closed, and sales of home exercise equipment have soared. With so much gear being sold with promises about fitness, Consumer Reports reveals which ones are actually worth your money and your sweat.

When you think of exercise bikes these days, chances are you think of Peloton. With its big touch screen and a huge selection of live and on-demand classes, Peloton has its fans, and Consumer Reports says the company is on to something.

The Peloton bike is by far the best exercise bike Consumer Reports has tested, getting perfect scores in categories like adjustability, noise, and features. But with a price close to $1,500, it’s a splurge that might force the frugal to take a timeout. And Consumer Reports says that’s fine. You can still get a great cycling workout without a Peloton bike.

You can buy a regular exercise bike that’s a third of the cost of a Peloton, sign up for a $12.99-per-month Peloton membership, and use your smartphone or tablet to participate.

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A more affordable model that Consumer Reports recommends is the Finer Form Indoor Exercise Bike for $500.

To get some strength training into your at-home workout, adjustable dumbbells are a good option. They can be very handy. With the switch of a lever, dial, or pin you can quickly and easily change the amount of weight you use.

But building muscle doesn’t come cheap. One of Consumer Reports' Best Buy options is the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set at $350.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on dumbbells, Consumer Reports says you can still achieve fitness benefits by doing bodyweight exercises, and those don’t cost a thing.

And a key component of any home gym is a yoga mat, good for all kinds of floor exercises.

For an at-home workout setup suitable for multiple needs, a mat like the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Folding Exercise Mat may be a good bet.

And whether they’re for yoga, strength training, or cardio, apps like Apple Fitness-Plus, Peloton, and Equinox-Plus can help you find that perfect workout to do on your mat.

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