Choosing to work out at home is convenient but can also be expensive. One way to avoid this is to know which fitness product to save or splurge on.
For instance, you can spend a little more on exercise machines and workout clothes that you use daily. On the other hand, fitness accessories you can do without are worth skipping or saving for later.
Not exactly sure what these fitness products are? Here’s a list you can use to evaluate your health needs and expenses.
Fitness Products You Can Splurge On
Any fitness product or equipment that you frequently use is worth splurging on. You want these items to perform well and last for longer.
I think multifunctional and space-saving items are also worth your money. Here are some examples.
1. A High-Quality Exercise or Yoga Mat
Dedicated yogis naturally prefer doing complex poses on a good-quality yoga mat with a good grip.
It’s also perfect for those who perform Pilates at home.
Another reason why it’s best to splurge rather than save on this fitness product is its versatility.
If you plan to use your yoga mat this way, you’d want to spend extra for a long-lasting mat that also diffuses impact and resists dirt.
2. A Versatile Cardio Machine
And because of this fitness trend, exercise equipment, particularly cardio machines, has become popular and in demand.
But the thing is, these machines are not exactly cheap. Even budget models can be considered an investment.
However, buying the best exercise machine for daily use is better than getting cheaper models that break down within months.
So, before buying, I research the options I can afford.
I try to place the machine side-by-side with my fitness requirements to ensure I’m getting something that can help with my goals.
I also like reading product reviews, customer feedback, or buying guides to screen my choices. And when I can, I visit the store and test the machine myself.
Another thing I look for in cardio machines is their multifunctional quality.
I lean towards cardio equipment that allows various exercise variations or enables full-body workouts.
That way, I get a machine that gives me all-around health benefits.
Here are a few fitness products that you can splurge on rather than save:
- Exercise bikes. I particularly like indoor bikes as they support sustainable weight loss and allow high-intensity interval training. They suit any fitness level, take minimal space, and cost less than other cardio machines.
- Ellipticals. These are perfect for those who want low-impact, full-body workouts. Also, mid-range and high-end ellipticals usually have excellent features without being too expensive.
- Treadmills. Invest in a high-quality treadmill if you love running or want to boost your leg power. Choose a model with an incline feature for steady-state workouts or treadmill arms and a sled bar for strength training.
3. Adjustable Equipment for Strength Training
Strength training is an essential component of a fitness routine. But getting a set of dumbbells or kettlebells can be pricey. Plus, these take up a lot of space.
The upfront costs for these weights are higher, of course.
However, in the long run, you save money (and perhaps, shipping fees) by not buying heavier weights later as you progress.
Adjustable free weights have a smaller footprint, too – perfect for small home gyms and apartment spaces.
If you’re not a fan of weightlifting, investing in high-quality pull-up bars is another option.
With several types of pull-up bars available, you can do your strength training with heavy-duty equipment that matches your space.
Moreover, a pull-up bar doesn’t take up room, especially doorway types, and even allows many exercise variations.
Check out this article for more home fitness equipment suggestions.
4. Good-Fitting Athletic Shoes and Sports Bras
You may think it’s minor, but workout clothes are crucial to your overall performance. But it is also impractical to wear branded activewear from head to toe.
So, if you are uncertain which fitness products to save or splurge on, remember this advice: never cut corners on shoes and sports bras.
Whether you’re a regular gym-goer or an athlete, a pair of high-quality kicks is essential. Cheap and ill-fitting shoes only increase your risk of workout pain and injury.
But no need to splurge on sport-specific shoes. Try on different trainers and pick one that covers your usual activities.
And consider getting a pair from big brands.
As for the ladies, have good, supportive sports bras in your fitness wardrobe.
If you’ve worn a cheap one before, you know it is not as comfortable. It loses shape and elasticity after a few washes, too.
Paying extra for high-quality sports bras with good coverage and adjustable straps is worth every cent.
You can also have one or two expensive leggings or tank tops.
However, I suggest getting pieces in colours and styles you can wear outside the gym.
5. Recovery Devices
Aside from exercise machines and activewear, rest and recovery are equally vital components of a good fitness plan.
Recovery devices may not exactly help you burn calories or build muscles.
But taking care of your body ensures you can give 100% to every workout session or competition.
Also, it’s best to splurge than save on these fitness products since you can use them after a busy day at work or whenever you feel like it.
Here are some of my favourite recovery items worth the extra cost:
- Massage guns. Recent research findings show that handheld percussive massage treatment improves the range of motion, making it an ideal add-on to your warm-up regimen.
- Compression garments. A small study on handball players concluded that compression tights speed up muscle recovery, especially after intense exercise.
- Vibration foam rollers. A recent study shows that vibration foam rolling has a high potential in enhancing performance and recovery.
Fitness Products You Can Skip or Get for Less
All fitness products are purposeful. However, some can get very expensive, especially when they have minimal impact on your fitness goals.
Here are a few items you can probably save for later.
1. Small Fitness Accessories
Medicine balls, resistance bands, foam blocks, and Pilates rings are excellent add-ons for workout variety.
However, if you do not use them often, it’s better to save than splurge on these fitness products.
Also, most small items are less subjected to heavy impact or constant stress during workouts.
And so, there’s little point in getting the more durable and expensive options.
You can start with budget fitness accessories instead.
Then, after using them a few times, decide whether you’d like to get something of higher quality.
2. Heart Monitors or Fitness Trackers
Heart rate monitors or fitness trackers typically cost a lot because of their advanced features.
However, casual or average fitness enthusiasts probably have little to no use for them anyway.
So, save your money and don’t splurge on these fitness products.
Find cheaper or free alternatives like smartphone fitness tracker apps instead.
Or, if you’re getting a cardio machine, look for models with a built-in pulse rate monitor. Some include a wearable monitor, too.
You can also buy a separate chest strap or smartwatch if you like. But opt for products that are affordable but functional.
3. Workout App Subscriptions or Memberships
Visually appealing fitness apps are the usual come-on of exercise machines.
But subscribing to one can be costly, considering there are free or cheaper options online.
My suggestion is to try the app first. Use the free trial period included if your machine has one.
Then, once it expires, decide whether a full subscription is worth it.
4. Prepackaged Diet Meals and Deliveries
I know these save time and make mealtimes easy. However, you’ll likely spend more than necessary on these fitness products.
Home-cooked meals are undoubtedly better, taste and price-wise.
So, why not learn simple salad, lunch, or smoothie recipes? Go online, and find easy and healthy meals to try.
Then, invest in a high-quality blender or food processor instead to shorten your kitchen time.
Staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. The secret is to know when to save or splurge on fitness products.
Be smart with your choices. Skip brand names or hi-tech features if you think they are not necessary.
Then don’t be afraid to spend extra on things that matter.
Find time to research these more expensive options before buying, or ask the experts for advice.
Lastly, set a budget and stick to it. And limit your shopping list to items that you need and will love using.
Cost-wise, buying a treadmill is better than going to the gym. That’s because you can share the machine with others at home, and the return on investment is likely within 2 to 3 years. It’s a considerable saving, given that treadmills have an average lifespan of 10 years.
Treadmills and ellipticals are ideal for burning calories and boosting cardiovascular fitness. However, choosing between the two depends on your body, preference, and other fitness goals. For instance, choose an elliptical to lose weight through a full-body workout with low injury risk. But if you love running or need sport-specific training while burning calories, then you better start planning for a treadmill routine!
Quiet exercise bikes for apartments are not hard to find if you know the right features to consider. These include bikes with magnetic resistance, a belt drive, and a noise level of 75dB or less. Getting an exercise bike that is easy to clean and maintain or putting a proper bike mat underneath your machine can also control the noise.
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