A low-cost way to get in shape

Depending on your goals, you can improve your fitness at a fraction of the cost. It's all in using economical fitness toys.

"We walk together, we go in our backyard and do some dumbell work, do some basic pushups. Just some basic things like that," said fitness trainer Mike Levinson.

Levinson says working out at home can be just as effective as a health club and saves not just money, but also time.

"I can't spend two hours in the gym everyday. I can't drive there, it takes 15 - 20 minutes to drive there. You work out, you drive home, that's three hours right there," said Levinson.

So why not arm yourself with inexpensive fitness gear that offers both cardio and strength benefits?

Jump ropes are fun and frugal, ranging from $2 -12. Build up to ten minute sessions, working muscles in between jump rope intervals.

Gliding discs that are available for both solid or carpeted surfaces can be used for cardio, strength or stretching for about $20.

Stability balls are wonderful to challenge core muscles and assist with weighted workouts costing about $12-15.

If you're making the home gym commitment, a bosu, which stands for both sides up, is also another multi-purpose tool that can be used for both cardio and strength training. It costs about $100, but worth the extra.

You'll also want to buy light, medium and heavy cast iron dumbells. buy locally as shipping is pricey. A pair of fives average $12, while a set of tens runs about $22 . Vinyl coating will add $3 more to each pair.

Yet inexpensive tubing that is sold in varied strengths costs as little as $6.

One of the best fitness tools to stay motivated is music.

"That's actually scientifically based. People have actually tried working in silence and with a good driving beat and that beat actually adds motivation. It's more of an emotional connection to the workout you're doing," said fitness pro Paul Katami.

Katami says an average heart beat is 72 to 80 beats per minute. playing music at 130 beats per minute and up for running or 120 to 130 while walking can really kick things up a bit.


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