While you don't have to spend a fortune to create a home gym, there's plenty of good reason to do so -- convenience, you'll save money on gym fees, and studies show that people with home fitness equipment are more likely to start exercising.
But while treadmills and other cardio equipment can soon collect dust, experts recommend a variety of workout options to keep you engaged. When getting started, focus on a few key ingredients for a complete workout -- cardio, strength, and a few extras. Here are options suited to just about any budget.
Jumping rope can torch calories as well as running. Even better, weighted ropes can increase heart rate while toning your arms. Try the Reebok Adjustable Speed Jump Rope ($34), or for a higher end option, Crossrope, an interchangeable cable and weighted handle jump rope. Cables start at 1.9 ounces (54 g) with the heaviest weight coming in at three pounds (1.36 kg), and you can switch out cables in a quick clip-out, clip-in motion. Price is $140, with a mini-set with two cables selling for $50.
If you prefer cycling, transform your bike into an indoor cardio machine by hooking it up to the CycleOps Magneto bike trainer, which even provides progression resistance ($280).
For a high-intensity strength and cardio routine, grab a kettlebell. GoFit offers a 10-pound kettlebell with a beginner DVD ($35). Or try rubber resistance bands and tubes, which can target problem areas such as hips and inner thighs. Check out Braided Xertubes ($30).
Train with TRX: One of the hottest fitness trends of the moment, this suspension trainer attaches to a door and allows for more than 300 exercises ($200, includes guide and DVD).
Train your abs with a stability ball, which helps activate ab and back muscles. With the TrainerBall, the moves are printed right on the ball ($30).
If you're hankering for group classes, you can sign up online and stream live classes at home. Try Mary Helen Bower's Ballet Beautiful ($35 a class or $280 for a month of unlimited classes) or Flirty Girl Fitness Live for bootcamp, boxing, sculpting and Pilates classes for $10 a week of unlimited classes. Other options include EMG Live Fitness, which offers Piloxing, barre, and bootcamp classes, as well as Yogalo, which streams live yoga classes from top-rate instructors.