These days, you don't need a gym membership or a personal trainer to tone up and shed pounds. You can get everything you need to make the most of your workouts by streaming it online or ordering it with the click of a button. Here are all the apps and gadgets you need to get in shape in the comfort of your living room.
If you want a trainer to scold you into shape, you don't have to pay for a pricey gym membership or splurge on boutique workout classes. You can stream on-demand videos from Daily Burn for $19.95 a month, and in my experience, these classes are intense. You'll definitely feel your muscles aching after Daily Burn programs, which range from cardio classes and strength training to yoga and dance. There's something for everyone, and if you get bored with one program, you can switch to another one.
There are few exercises cheaper than running, which requires just a decent pair of sneakers. But if you want some extra motivation, you'll need some tunes. At $26, Aukey's Latitude Bluetooth earbuds won't break the bank, and they offer 8-hour battery life, sweat resistance and solid sound. An array of extra fins and tips ensures that you'll find the perfect fit. These are my favorite cheap Bluetooth running headphones by a mile.
Resistance bands are a solid way to increase the difficulty of your workouts. Bodygym's $50 kit, which includes a latex resistance band and a bar, offers a full-body workout with the help of two instructional DVDs (you also get a travel bag). This kit has rave reviews on Amazon for being easy-to-use no matter your fitness level; you can adjust the resistance band by rolling the bar toward your body. This kit's portability is a bonus; the bar snaps apart, and both the bar and the band fit in the travel bag, so you can take your workouts on the go.
Wrist-worn fitness trackers offer heart rate monitoring, but the gold standard for accuracy is still the chest strap. Polar's H10 is my favorite, because it's comfortable to wear running for short or long distances. The Polar Beat app syncs the H10's data from the strap's snap-on Bluetooth transmitter and displays it in colorful graphs alongside advanced metrics like the training benefits you're getting from each run. If you want the most-accurate heart rate data possible, the H10 is the way to go.
You don't really need a scale to tell if you're shaping up. You'll see it in the way your clothes fit, or you can use a tape measure to check if you're losing inches. But weight provides a more quantified way to view your progress, and Nokia's Body+ scale offers a little more insight than your cheap digital scale gives you. The Body+ syncs with Nokia's Health Mate app to graph your weight over time. The scale also measures BMI, total body fat and water percentage as soon as you step on it, giving you more metrics to think about on your fitness journey.
Need someone to talk you through your weight loss goals? Amazon's Alexa could be the fitness coach you've been looking for. It integrates with some of our favorite workout apps and services, so it can help you log your calories, give you personalized workout tips and play motivational music using the Echo as a portable speaker. These are the best Alexa skills for weight loss.
There are a number of affordable GPS watches, but Garmin's Forerunner 25 is the one to beat. It doesn't offer much more than an always-on watch face and accurate location tracking, but if that's all you need for neighborhood runs, then this device will get the job done. You'll see your speed, distance and pace, plus mile alerts, making this device perfect for beginning runners. The Forerunner 25 also offers lengthy battery life, lasting nearly 10 weeks in watch mode.