10 picks for getting fit without breaking budget

Looking for ways to maximize your workout? You don’t have to spend a fortune on a new treadmill or endure long, boring exercise routines.

We asked 10 magazines that focus on fitness and health to choose a gadget that will help you get fit without breaking the bank. Here are their choices, listed in order of price, starting with the cheapest.


The pick: Gymboss. This is the next evolution of the stopwatch, said Meaghan B. Murphy, features director for fitness. She said the device is great for interval training or circuit workouts, with time intervals ranging from 2 seconds to 99 minutes. You can set the small pager-sized device to beep, vibrate or do both to cue you to move to the next station or exercise.

Price: $19.95

Where to get it:

Women’s Health

The Pick: Nike + iPod Sport Kit. Pair your iPod and Nike + shoes for some motivation. The Sport Kit’s wireless sensor and receiver work with Nike + shoes and the iPod nano or iPod touch (2nd generation), tracking time, pace, distance and calories burned. Transfer your workout data to iTunes and

Price: $29. Nike + shoes and iPod sold separately.

Where to get it: Apple retailers


The pick: Tanita PD-724 3-Axes Pedometer. The future of pedometers is here. Besides a step counter, the device keeps track of distance, calories burned and total walking time. “Research has shown that a simple pedometer can motivate you to be more active,” said Natalie Gingerich, Prevention’s associate editor of fitness. “We love the versatile Tanita 3-Axes pedometer because instead of clipping it on your waistband, you can wear it around your neck or slip it into your pocket.”

Price: $34.99

Where to get it:

Men’s Health

The pick: The Woody Bag. Dubbed “The Ultimate Crosstrainer.” The sand inside the bag shifts as you lift it. “This continually changes your center of gravity, which increases the challenge to your core — whether you’re doing squats, rows, or overhead presses,” said fitness director Adam Campbell.

Price: Price varies according to weight. A 5-pound Woody Bag is $59.95, plus shipping. The sand is provided by the customer.

Where to get it:

Runner’s World

The pick: Garmin Forerunner 50. This sports watch tells you everything you need to know about a run or ride — pace, distance, time, calories burned and maximum and average heart rate. “It’s a bargain for runners interested in tracking both their optimal aerobic zone and how fast they ran,” said senior editor Sean Downey. The FR60, an update to the Forerunner 50, will be out in June.

Price: $99.99, speed/cadence sensor and wireless foot pod sold separately.

Where to get it: Running and sporting goods stores.

Men’s Fitness

The pick: Garmin Forerunner 205. Use GPS to mark your route. The wrist-mounted device provides real-time data, such as speed, distance, average pace and the direction you are running or biking. It can also guide you back to your starting location, so you can save the information for a future route.

Price: $149.99 on The 205 has since been replaced with the Forerunner 405, but at twice the price.

Where to get it: Amazon, Target, Best Buy


The pick: GoWear fit Armband. Upload your information to the Online Activity Manager at, and let the armband do the rest. The device measures steps, calories, physical activity level and sleep duration and efficiency.

Price: $199.95 plus a subscription to the Online Activity Manager.

Where to get it:, Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods