Home workout equipment doesn’t have to flex your wallet

Consumer Reports recommends gear that’s easier on the budget

Sales of home workout equipment has soared during the pandemic, and some of it is pretty pricey. Consumer Reports recommends some gear that's easier on the budget.

SAN ANTONIO – Sales of home exercise equipment have soared during the past year and a half, some of it with big promises and price tags to match. Consumer Reports offers some recommendations that are easier on the budget.

When you think of exercise bikes these days, chances are you think of Peloton. With its big touch screen and huge selection of live and on-demand classes, Peloton has its fans, and Consumer Reports says the company is on to something.

“The Peloton bike is by far the best exercise bike CR has tested, getting perfect scores in categories like adjustability, noise, and features,” said Consumer Reports tester Bernie Deitrick.

But with a price close to $1,500, it’s a splurge that might force the frugal to take a timeout. Even without a Peloton, you can still get a good cycling workout.

You can buy a regular exercise bike that’s a third of the cost of a Peloton, sign up for a $12.99-per-month Peloton membership, and use your smartphone or tablet to participate,” Deitrick said.

A more affordable model that CR recommends is the Finer Form Indoor Exercise Bike for $500.

To get some strength training into your at-home workout, adjustable dumbbells are a smart option. With the switch of a lever, dial, or pin you can quickly and easily change the amount of weight you use.

One of CR’s Best Buy options is the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set at $350.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on dumbbells, CR says you can still achieve fitness benefits by doing bodyweight exercises, and those don’t cost a thing.

And a key component of any home gym is a yoga mat, good for all kinds of floor exercises.

For an at-home workout setup suitable for multiple needs, a mat like the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Folding Exercise Mat may be a good bet.

And whether they’re for yoga, strength training, or cardio, apps like Apple Fitness-Plus, Peloton, and Equinox-Plus can help you find that perfect workout to do on your mat.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.