Jump Ropes and Hula Hoops: Exercise Gear on a Budget

Too often, the misconception that fitness equates with personal trainers, gym memberships, and expensive equipment keeps many on the couch and out of motion. How much you’re making (or saving for holiday shopping) should have little to do with the ability to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle. The body was made to move!

Ditch the need for the perfect athleisure image and instead embrace frugal fitness. There are countless ways to stay in shape, tone the body and increase strength without maxing out the credit cards. Here’s our favorite exercise gear that’s sure to please your budget:

Jump Ropes

Remember how Rocky Balboa trained for a big fight? Yes, he ran up 72 stairs to the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and punched frozen meat...but he also brought out the jump rope! Jump roping is great cardiovascular exercise, which is likely why it is forever linked to a campaign benefitting the American Heart Society. Not only does jumping rope get the heart pumping, but jump ropes also are relatively easy on the pocketbook. Snag one up for about $5 or buy a weighted rope for under $20 at a department or sporting good store.


When working out at home, small weights make routine exercises more challenging and help tone muscles. Small weights to tone arms retail for under $10 for five-pound weights. Leg weights for toning exercises or to use during brisk walks are under $20, but can get a bit pricier based on weight, brand and design. Regardless, purchasing small weights for home are a steal when compared to the price of a gym membership.

Hula Hoops

Hula hooping is fun and a great cardio workout for all members of the family. Grab a hoop to move the body and tone the core. Travel hula hoops from Hoopnotica cost under $20 and make a great gift for friends or relatives who want the benefits of fitness without joining a gym. Buy one for yourself, too, for a little workout fun!

Fitness or Yoga Balls

Fitness or yoga balls help improve balance and can be used in a number of ways during workouts. Use the ball to learn new positions in yoga or use it to help tone the abs during workouts. The Mayo Clinic offers a great visual resource online for individuals interested in toning the core with a fitness ball. For about $20, the ball provides a vast number of ways to engage in a fun and satisfying workout. Expectant moms can even use the ball while laboring.


FitBits may be all the rage, but they also are extremely pricey for those on a budget. Another way to track steps and make sure to hit the 10,000-step mark is to buy a simple pedometer. A basic pedometer ranges in price, but usually start at around $5. Find one that suits your lifestyle and budget and start tracking those steps!

Physical fitness isn’t a luxury, it’s a responsibility. Everyone can afford fitness, and some of the best athletic gear for workouts can be purchased for a small price. Making a small investment in athletic and fitness gear reaps a huge return on wellness and physical health and your body will thank you.

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