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Creating A Gym At Home

It's time to get or stay in shape for summer, but you may not want to do it in front of a bunch of strangers or face other things you find unappealing about health clubs.

So, why not create a workout space at home?

On The Early Show Wednesday, Colin Cowie shared ideas on putting together a pleasant, effective home gym that provides a total body workout including cardio, strength and flexibility.

And if you think it would be too expensive, think again. For the same amount or less than a health club membership, Cowie points out, you can create a gym in your home.

Benefits include no wasted travel time to and from a fitness club, no waiting online to use the equipment, and working out on your own schedule, rather than just during health club hours.

Editor's note: The following product descriptions were prepared with information provided by the manufacturers.

Step 1: Select a space in your home to convert into a home gym — either the basement, den, attic or even the garage. Make sure it's a breezy, cool space with air conditioning or fans.

King of Fans Fan, 20" High Velocity Floor Fan with three-speed rotary control and 120 tilt angle. $36.99; Home Depot

Step 2: Create a hospitality area that includes a small refrigerator to store cold bottled water, energy bars, and chilled towels. Dry towels should also be kept nearby. To help pass the time while exercising, keep reading material such as magazines and newspapers on hand. And, to motivate you, listen to your favorite tunes. Create a play list on your iPod or MP3 player specifically for your workout.

Avanti WC492D Tavern Master Beverage and Wine Cooler

Bose SoundDock Digital Music Speakers
A quick way to turn your iPod or iPod Mini into a speaker system, the Bose SoundDock was designed to enhance and expand an iPod user's enjoyment of their music.

Step 3: Consider a TV for your home gym. What better way to pass the time exercising than watching your favorite programs? Add a DVD player and watch movies or, better yet, work out to the latest fitness DVDs.

Step 4: Select the exercise equipment to stay ahead of the curves. Whether it's a fitness system for muscle building or an elliptical trainer, the right workout can help change your body, mind and spirit.

Bowflex Revolution XP
Do everything you do in your local gym now in one corner of one room in your home. This brand new home gym is compact enough to fit into a corner, utilizes new technology to give you the smooth feel of free weights, and is the smallest home gym on the market to offer more than 100 exercises.
$2,299-$2,677 (Note: Bowflex home gyms start at $899);

ProForm Easy One-Fold SpaceSaver Elliptical
This elliptical machine gives you a low-impact way to achieve overall body conditioning. Unlike any other elliptical, the Pro Form has a fold-away space saver design which lets you fold the base and pedals vertically for maximum storage ease. It also has a built-in fan to keep you from overheating.

SPRI Xercise Ball
For total body training: Develop, strengthen and tone abs, hips, legs, back and buns with SPRI's newest stability ball, designed to deliver long-lasting, professional durability. A great addition or affordable option for strengthening and stretching.

SPRI Original Xertube
Create just the right amount of resistance with this workout tool that you can use anywhere, anytime, in just minutes. All you need is a little space to begin a safe, effective total body conditioning program. The resistance bands offer a variance of resistance for exercisers of all ages, and allows the user to target specific muscle groups with ease. Excellent for strength training.

Bodytrends Sticky Yoga Mat
This mat was designed with the Pilates and yoga practitioners in mind. Perfect for those who desire more cushion than the traditional yoga mat provides. Comfort, portability and versatility, an all around sound investment.

Other tips:

You may want to enlist the help of a fitness trainer for guidance to make sure you're getting the most out of your new equipment, and to provide you with new routines and options.

Also, always check with your doctor before starting a fitness program.