A Year of Getting Fit – What Do You Recommend?

by Gayla Baer

This year, hubby and I have decided to invest in our health and the health of our kids. We’re putting together a weight room / workout room in a corner of the basement.

So far we’ve only added a stationary bike, which I’ll be writing a review on that soon – but so far I’m not real happy. Not when I found out that a full half hour of riding only burns up enough calories to compensate for FIVE saltine crackers! Seems like a real crock, doesn’t it?

While we’re browsing Craigslist, eBay and Amazon for some awesome deals on fitness equipment, are there any that you would personally recommend?

Both hubby and I have a family history of heart disease – so cardio is very important, which the bike should cover that nicely.

So what else should every home fitness center have? Feel free to include an Amazon link with your recommendation. If I end up purchasing the product online, I’ll use your link.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

homemom3 December 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm

I have a treadmill and will be using it a lot in the new year.

Aaron - Personal Development Partners December 7, 2007 at 7:44 pm


No home workout center is complete without an exercise ball! There are hundreds and hundreds of great exercises that you can do on an exercise ball, and core stabilization aspects make most of the exercises dual-purpose.

When I was a personal trainer, all of my clients were required to have an exercise ball in their home if they wanted to train with me.

I don’t have a direct link to a particular ball, but the best brand of ball in my opinion is FitBall, and you can access all of their goodies here: http://www.balldynamics.com/

For your size, you’ll need a 55cm ball. If your hubby is in the neighborhood of 6′, he might need a 65cm ball.

Have fun rolling around! :)

Chris December 7, 2007 at 9:19 pm

I think dumbbells are the safest thing for our young ones. Somehow they always have a little energy left over, even after they bounce off the walls all day.

Nathania Johnson December 7, 2007 at 9:41 pm

I burn a pound or two when i do a Hip Hop dance work out that comes on Fit TV every other week (hosted by Jennifer Galardi). The scale doesn’t show it for a day or two. But it definitely works.

I also like doing Pilates. It really reduces the stress in my body and makes me feel calm.

So maybe, make some space where you can do dance and mat exercises!?

Ghillie Suits December 9, 2007 at 3:43 am

I believe that you have to get something simple and easy to use. You only need one machine to start. If you find that you are using the machine constantly and its getting boring, then get another. Too many people buy too much stuff and never use any of it.

Jennifer December 9, 2007 at 10:53 am

Not really great for a home exercise room but inline skates are the best IMO. The only issue is you can’t use them in the rain but most days are sans rain for at least a bit. Skates are fun and burn mega calories. As an added benefit it does not take as long to learn as you think and you get to exercise outside in the fresh air with the family. I guess for inside the bike is good (I like mine) and free weights; maybe jump ropes and a small trampoline.

Gayla December 9, 2007 at 1:59 pm

@ Eliza – the treadmill was one of our choices, although we opted against it because my husband has had back and knee surgery and it wasn’t recommended.

@ Aaron – I’m shocked to hear that. I looked at them several times, but never understood how valuable they could be. I’m sure the kids would enjoy them too. We’re hoping to create a family norm with fitness.

@ Chris – we do have dumb bells – I think we’re looking for more creative ways of implementing them into our workout.

@ Nathania – I have workout tapes that I’ve reviewed, but for some reason I just can’t get into them. I’m more a ‘hands on’ kinda girl. I would like to go to a gym, but I also like the idea of creating a home gym that we can all use and work into our own busy schedules. Thanks for the tips though.

@ Jennifer – I’m one of those kids that broke their arm skating – scared of skates, not to mention a few years back, I broke my ankle in two places that prevents me from doing that kind of activity. It does look fun though and I do envy those who can. I wanted to so bad when I visited Venice Beach California – it was just ‘the thing to do’

Kevin December 11, 2007 at 8:03 pm

I have a Schwinn 418 elliptical trainer and I love it! Works the legs nicely, of course, but also works the arms and the stomach. This model has a number of resistance levels which you select depending on your fitness level, has a built in heart rate monitor, a timer, and calorie counter.

I use the elliptical machine every other day for cardio. For strength training, I work out with free weights. I also have a punching bag that I love for not only some additional cardio benefits, but also to release stress in a big way!

Wi December 15, 2007 at 5:40 pm

I have an elyptical trainer, some dumbells and workout tapes. Callanetics (remember those) are my favourite exercises and only require some space and a chair.

soccer videos July 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

do a mixture of cardio and weights. i would prefer a treadmill to a bike actually. its much more effective unless you want to train the lower body muscles which the treadmill can do quite well too

How To Jump Higher July 30, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I would have to recommend Wii Fit. My wife and I were very skeptical at first, but after we jumped on the balance board and started working out, we were out of breath with an ache burning in our legs.

Very good workout especially if you are a stay at home mom.

Andrew October 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm

It looks loke your year is almost up and i really hop you are both doing well????? let us know how things went. I would suggest PILATES as it has helped me loose so much weight and also become fitter which in turn led to better confidence and well being. hope that you guys have stuck it out. all the best

Necklace Holder  October 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

i prefer to use mechanical treadmills over electric treadmills’;*

TheFitnessEnthusiast January 10, 2011 at 6:59 am

There are several ways to get fit and lose weight. In order to
Shed Fat just focus on eating all natural, no boxed or canned goods, and consistency with your exercise.

Best Elliptical Trainer January 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Well at least that’s a step. I find that elliptical machines are the best calorie burners cause not only do they burn as many calories as jogging, but they have no impact. I love them!

Killian February 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I use dumbells when i workout.
Thanks for the suggestion guys.

Cornelius Bejens February 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

A somewhat fresh exercise machine could be the elliptical cross trainer.
This kind of exercise machine is fairly just like a fitness bike and a treadmill trainer. A great elliptical cross trainer can be a motionless exercise machine which is utilized to trigger jogging and even working movements with out creating excessive strain around the bones and so lower impact regarding accidents. See for yourself at Exercise Trainers

Home Gym Reviews March 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Start out slow on your gym and purchase as you can afford a new piece of equipment. I went to garage sales and found a lot of great equipment for real cheap.

Alex Abreu April 2, 2011 at 3:09 am

Plat It Again Sports is a great store for used sports equipment. They have them all over the North West. Not sure about other states.

Elliptical Trainer Reviews May 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I review all sorts of fitness equipment and my favorite is an elliptical trainer. I personally own a Sole elliptical and enjoy the fact that I can workout both my upper and lower body simultaneously. The benefits are the fact you exercise more muscles groups than any other exercise machine, and you burn calories more efficiently. With the model I have you are able to adjust the incline on the elliptical stride. This further let’s you target different lower body muscles. You can read more at my Sole Elliptical Trainer Review
. Other brands worth noting are Smooth, NordicTrack, LiveStrong Fitness, Horizon and newcomer Yowza.

Sole Elliptical September 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

My recommend is Sole Elliptical E35, This Trainer Rated a “best buy” by leading consumer websites and magazines, the Sole E35 elliptical trainer delivers an efficient full-body workout in the comfort of your bedroom, basement, or garage.
Read more the review here Sole E35 Elliptical

Liam April 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

Instead of buying expensive sports equipmnt, I tend to just go down the gym every once in a while to work out. Seems to be doing me okay.

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