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Your Exercise Back-Up Plan: A Home Gym

What do you do when your first-choice workout either isn't available (gym closed) or welcoming (icy roads with a negative wind-chill factor)? Instead of skipping your workout, exercise at home.

Make Your Gym Magnetic

Your gym doesn't have to look like one in a magazine. It doesn’t have to cost as much as a mortgage payment. For under $100, you can stock your gym with some basics -- like an exercise mat, stability ball, resistance bands, and a few dumbbells. But there are no official guidelines for what you need. What's key is that you have equipment that entices you to come in and move.

Location, location. Choose and de-clutter a spot in your home for your workouts. Don't automatically pick your basement or garage. Who wants to be stuck in a dark, smelly dungeon?

Consider an area near where you often sit. An empty corner or a spot near your TV, for instance, could be perfect. Just seeing your exercise place may inspire you to get up and move.

Give yourself incentive. Get your exercise music ready. Download an audiobook you're excited about. Adjust the bookrack on your treadmill or exercise bike. Record a whole season of a great show on your DVR or add it to your streaming queue.

Whatever your favorite way to entertain yourself may be, get it ready to go and then save it until the next rainy day or evening you miss your Zumba class.

Your reward will be that much sweeter when you've looked forward to it.

Exercise on the web. Need an instructor? Check the web for online fitness classes. You can find yoga, dance, strength training, and others that you watch from your iPad or computer.

Some are free. Some are pay-as-you-go. Others require memberships and a monthly fee:

  • Curvy Yoga: Online classes or access to videos of yoga taught by a woman of size
  • Daily Burn: Various types of exercise at different challenge levels
  • Physique 57: Access to videos of a boutique fitness class that combines ballet, Pilates, and isometrics
  • Pound Rockout Workout: Online version of a popular fitness class at Crunch gyms -- simulated drumming with lightly weighted drumsticks for cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, and pylometrics
  • YogaGlo: Videos to download

Or, try streaming workouts through an Apple TV, Google TV, or Roku. This way you can access sites like Hulu while also watching on a big screen.

Make fitness a game. If you’re willing to invest a little cash,all the major game systems -- like the Microsoft Xbox One, the Nintendo Wii-U, and the Sony PlayStation 4 -- make exercise fun with motion sensors that track your movement.

Get fit as you dance, do yoga or tai chi, go white-water rafting, or fight zombies. Some fitness games estimate the calories you burned afterward.

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