According to the folks at Fitness magazine, you're more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you actually enjoy what you're doing. So they have compiled a collection of some of the newest gear designed to make at-home workouts more fun and productive.
JumpSnap ropeless jump rope, $60: This is basically two jump-rope handles (no rope) that you rotate as you jump. It makes a subtle "snap" with each rotation, and one of the handles has an electronic chip that estimates the calories burned based on your height, weight and number of jumps. The LCD display on the handle also includes a timer, target mode and provides you with an *audible* workout summary. You don't need much space to use the tool, and it's easy to pack into a suitcase. And you can burn up to 100 calories in 5 to 10 minutes. Many companies make kettlebells, which look like cannonballs with a grandma-purse handle. Because the bells are meant to be swung around, you need to be careful not to hurt your back. If you've never used a kettlebell, Brodey suggests that you get some pointers from a trainer or a DVD before trying it yourself. The kettlebells used on The Saturday Early Show came from Power Systems, where they cost $30 to $50. Reebok Speedpac Adjustable Weights, $59.99: This is a space-saver, one pair of dumbbells but with five chrome-plated weights, so all in one, you have 2.5 pounds, 5 pounds, 7.5 pounds, 10 pounds and 12.5 pounds all in one. (You get various levels of resistance for different strength-training exercises, but you don't have to line up five sets of dumbbells in your living room.) You can find them at Target. Sony's S2 Sports Walkman MP3 Player, $120 to $150: This super-small and great-for-workouts MP3 player automatically switches between your saved playlists (stores 1,350 songs) based on the tempo at which you're exercising, and records calories burned in past workouts (stores up to seven workouts). The player features a calorie counter, pedometer, stopwatch and built-in FM tuner. You can find out more at Sonystyle.com. The Left/Right Foot Technology Socks from ASICS, $10 : This pair of socks actually comes with a designated left and right sock. Each sock is cushioned in key areas of your foot (heel, arch, toes) to help soften impact on your foot as you work out. Also, there is a cushioned tab behind your ankle that helps prevent blisters and painful chafing. Champion Vapor sports bra (Champion style 6823, $40: This is a racer-back sports bra that uses fibers from coconuts in the fabric. The "Cocona" fabric technology includes UV protection, blocking at least 96 percent harmful UV rays. Fast-wicking and fast-drying odor-resistant material helps keep you cool and dry. Finally, unlike most sports bras which become stretched out and weakened by washing, this bra is designed to get better with each washing. Hind Hoodie, $75: The "hood" is actually a headband attached to the shirt so that you can keep your ears warm when you're walking or running. (You don't have to deal with an uncomfortable hat or a sweaty hoodie.) Another bonus: It's headgear that's hard to lose, and it is available in several colors.
Denise Brodey, editor-in-chief of Fitness, showed some examples on The Saturday Early Show.