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Best Home-Fitness Equipment

Ten items that will improve any in-house workout.

The list of excuses for skipping the gym is nearly endless. Some are legitimate (it’s snowing outside), others more suspect (there’s a citywide towel shortage). Exercising at home is, of course, an option, but it ought to be more interesting than bicep curls with ancient barbells or staring into space on a treadmill mile after tedious mile.

Thankfully, there is a wealth of new fitness equipment available to help outfit a quality in-home gym. (Bad news for those eager to find reasons to avoid workouts; great news for everyone else.)

Some of our favorite equipment relies on high-tech audio and visual entertainment for distraction. Browse the Internet on the Technogym Cross Personal elliptical trainer’s Visioweb display or simulate hikes in scenic spots all over the world with NordicTrack’s x11i incline trainer. Other machines integrate games and drills directly into the workout: The Nexersys NXS-H Pro has a mode that allows users to follow the moves of a virtual trainer, while riders on the Expresso HD stationary bike can earn points by steering through an animated onscreen environment in search of coins and dragons.

Of course, all the surround sound in the world can only get you partway to meeting your fitness goals. Tracking workouts and keeping tabs on progress is important, and the FitBit Flex—a wristband that measures every step you take (and every minute you sleep)—does just that so you know exactly how healthy and strong you’re becoming. Who knows? You just might start looking for excuses to work out even more.