- Priced at just under $25, Banglz are comfy, half- to two-pound weighted bands wrapped in changeable sleeves. The "bracelets" or ankle wraps provide weight resistance during daily activities to help burn fat and strengthen muscles. Find them at www.banglz.com.
- Kettlebells have become the hot new fitness tool of celebs like Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, Jennifer Aniston and Penelope Cruz. Looking like a canon ball with a handle, kettlebells are weights that are swung in three-dimensional movements. Fitness chains such as LifeTime Fitness and Equinox have added classes because kettlebells have a reputation for quickly delivering overall body conditioning. Pick them up at any fitness equipment retail store. For a complete line of in-home personal instruction, KettleWorx offers gear and instructions. Find the bells and videos at www.kettleworx.com.
- Ellipticals continue to gain popularity for their ability to burn more fat with less perceived exertion. Priced at $999, the AudioStrider 800 Elliptical from NordicTrack is on many "best buy" review lists. The maker has been running sales for the equipment as low as $799 with free shipping. The AudioStrider 800 is heavy-duty enough for a 300-pound person and has a 30-degree manual ramp, speakers, music ports, eight built-in workouts and iFIT Workout Card Technology that delivers the voice and advice of fitness professional urging you on. Go to www.NordicTrack.com for details.
- Treadmills still reign as the most popular piece of cardio equipment. There are many "cheapo" versions on the market but they usually deliver a frustrating road of disappointment. Pro-Form is one of the best known names in treadmills. Find sales that will net you a model like the Power 690 for about $800 - www.proform.com. Priced at just under $700, the Fuel FT94 offers the durability and many of the features of more expensive models. There's free shipping at www.fuelfitnessusa.com.
Note: There are a lot of "weekend only" or "one-day" sales for equipment on the Internet. You'll find these "sales" are often the real price. And, be warned. Any equipment you order needs assembled, which easily can take the better part of a day and a big dose of patience.