Staff Picks: Our Favorite Exercise Gadgets

Whether it's a popular new DVD or the latest at-home workout machine, people spend lots of money on fitness gadgets each year. Which ones do the SparkPeople Experts swear by--and actually use? Read on to find out!

Chris Downie, Motivation expert and SparkPeople founder
"Right now my favorite new fitness gadget is a balance board that's specifically designed to help improve your tennis game. My favorite all-time piece of fitness equipment is a recumbent exercise bike because it allows me to read while exercising. Mine was expensive, but given that it should last for 10 years or more, it isn't a bad investment."

Becky Hand, Registered and Licensed Dietitian
"The only gadgets I have are small hand weights and ankle weights, which I use for resistance workouts two to three times a week while I watch a television show. My aerobic exercise is most often walking outside on my farm--no DVD required! My dogs, and the cows, deer, turkeys, skunks and groundhogs are my entertainment! Yes, I have experienced them all!"

Nancy Howard, Certified running coach and community moderator
"My Garmin 405 Forerunner is my all-time favorite fitness gadget. I love that I can see my pace as I run, not to mention upload all my data onto my computer."

Tanya Jolliffe, Healthy eating expert and community moderator
"I suppose I am one of the few that does not enjoy group workouts exercise DVDs, but my husband gave me a heart rate monitor and that has been a real benefit to my workouts no matter what I am doing."

Jen Mueller, Fitness coach and community leader
"Not surprisingly, it's my treadmill! It was a very big investment, but I got a top-quality machine that is good for runners. It is my lifesaver on days when I have to squeeze in a run before my kids get up in the morning. I use it at least a few times each week."

Nicole Nichols, Certified personal trainer and editor
"My all-time favorite fitness 'gadget' (if you could call it that) is a mini ball--a small inflatable fitness ball like the Bender Ball. It is so versatile and can be used in so many interesting ways. I love to use it in Pilates and in strength training. Other than that, I like all the basics: free weights, resistance bands, and a good stability ball. I really don't think you need more than that to get a great workout. I have enjoyed trying to products for the dailySpark reviews that I post. One that I'm really enjoying right now is called the TRX suspension trainer, which you can hook to any door in your house to use your body weight (and a lot of core strength and coordination) to exercise every major muscle group in your body."

Denise Tausig, Community Moderator
"I have several favorite workout DVDs, which include Denise Austin’s Ultimate Fat Burner, Turbo Jam, and several of The Firm workouts."

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Member Comments

Thanks for the great article. It will help alot. Report
Thanks for sharing. I believe these things could be very helpful in changing up and making exercise more interesting. Report
I could not pick just one "gadget", I have several as I have a home gym and I am a runner..I guess if I HAD to pick one that I couldn't do without it would be my spin bike, I have a professional one (an older style) and can do RPM classes at home...second favorite I guess would be my Nike + band to log my pace, mileage and calories burned when I run Report
I am 64 so not into heavy duty workouts but I do lift weights, walk every day with my dog, bought the DVD "Tony And The Folks" from Beachbody, and have a mat. Seems to help me keep fit. I am also gardening now so more exercise which I quite enjoy. Report
No gadgets at my house, but since one of the 'staff experts' mentioned TRX I thought I would ask: how are we supposed to record TRX in our fitness tracker? (I attend a TRX class at my Y.) Report
I love the traditionals - home gym, dvds, etc. Here are some you may not have seen before that are great additions: Trek Desk (allows you to walk and work at the same time); Manta and StingRay - take the pain out of back and front squats by cushioning the bar while helping you keep it in the right place; Versagripp - use this to help pick up heavy weights without overly pressuring your forearms; paceweights - if you have metal dumbbells, you can increase your weights by half pound increments; kettleguard - best cushion for wrists I've seen when using a kettlebell; TRX - great travel strength training approach; The Grid foam roller - small and hollow, so you can pack your foam roller in a suitcase! Report
I really like many of these things. I love my treadmill, and fitness DVDs are great! I have quite a collection. I want to try the balance board next. Report


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