Terrific Home Exercise Equipment

Gyms are a great way to get in shape. But once the New Year's resolutions wear off, attendance drops.

Trisha Calvo with Consumer Reports explains, "People stop working out for all sorts of reasons. But lack of time and inconvenience are two of the most common. When you have an exercise machine at home, you eliminate both of those factors."

Consumer Reports says treadmills are a great choice to help with weight loss, but if you're looking for something a little different, the labs also test rowing machines, spin bikes and ellipticals.

Peter Anzalone with Consumer Reports says, "If you're just starting out or you have back, hip, or knee problems, an elliptical is a great alternative to a treadmill. It creates less impact on your joints and it can still give you a great cardio workout."

After testing dozens of ellipticals, Consumer Reports says one from A-F-G - the 3-point-1-A-E for $1,100 - is a great choice.

Spin bikes provide a good interval workout and are a popular gym class. Many want the convenience of having a spin bike at home.

Consumer Reports recommends the Diamondback 510-i-c for $800. It has a built-in workout program that keeps you moving.

Another option - a rowing machine.

Peter also points out, "Rowing machines provide a full body workout - both upper- and lower-body. It's non-weight-bearing, but it's still very strenuous, so it can burn a lot of calories."

You do want to make sure it fits. The $900 Concept2 Model D proved comfortable for both short and tall people.

Treadmills are the most popular exercise machines of all. Consumer Reports named the Proform Pro 2000 a Best Buy for around $1,200. It folds and is easy to store.

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