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With the New Year upon us and 2015 resolutions firmly set in place, many of us will be keen to stick to our pledges – as long as this doesn’t mean breaking the bank. With exercising more regularly, improving fitness and losing weight traditionally among the most common resolutions, we’ve compiled a handy list of cost-effective alternatives to signing up to the gym.

Joining your local gym is by no means a bad choice, but, for some, work hours, family commitments and commutes can pose hard-to-work-around obstacles that obstruct how many times you’re actually able to attend. This can make getting your money’s worth tricky.

If you’re one of these people, we recommend investing in some of our top exercise equipment picks* so you can move your workout to your living room – no commute, no time restrictions, and no excuses!

Speak to your GP before embarking on any new exercise regime for the first time.

Gym ball

These exercise balls are a great starting point to creating your own mini workout centre at home. They come in various colours and sizes, and can be used to challenge every muscle group in your body.

From your arms to back and tummy to legs, gym balls cover it all – as well as providing a handy tool to rehabilitate injuries and improve on core strength. And, because they easily deflate, you don’t have to worry about them taking up loads of room in your home.

To get you going, here’s a handy 15-minute full-body exercise-ball workout to kick-start your routine. If you want to add some variation to your session, also offers a selection of gym ball routines for you to choose from. You can pick one up for yourself from as little as £5.99 on eBay or £6.99 at Argos.

Resistance band

On sale for just £5.75 at Newitts (including postage), you can’t go wrong with a simple resistance band. Similar to a gym ball, they can be used to work all of your muscle groups, and they can be altered to cater for different fitness levels too.

Its light packaging will ensure your house isn’t cluttered with exercise equipment, and it can be easily transported too – so there’s no excuse not to work out if you’re away travelling!

Resistance bands are highly adaptable and can even be used to replace weights in some familiar exercises, such as bicep curls and squats. For an extensive list of exercises for the whole body, check out

Exercise mat

Exercise mats provide a helpful staple for your at-home gym by creating a comfortable surface to work out on – gone are the days you have to suffer from carpet burns and endure hard surfaces to get a good session in!

You can pick one up for just £6.99 at Argos and, when the weather gets warmer, they enable you to take your fitness routine into the great outdoors too!

You’re set to go!

These three simple items provide a superb springboard for your fitness regime, and with an abundance of workout exercise material on the Internet, there are endless options out there to keep your routine interesting, varied and challenging.

Purchasing weights, such as dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls, can be costly, but as your fitness improves you may want to challenge yourself more. Gym balls and resistance bands allow you to do just this and by continually increasing the resistance of your band and the difficulty of the exercise, your home gym should keep you on your toes.

*All prices correct at time of writing, 18/12/2014.

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