As we head into the new year, many individuals will start a new exercise program. Sometimes there is not enough time to get to the gym and you sacrifice your fitness program to get other things done. Exercising at home is one option that may help you keep your fitness goals. Home workouts allow you flexibility with your schedule, convenience and, most importantly, consistency. If you are working out at home, it is essential to have comfortable, durable, quality fitness equipment.

There are many products and brands to choose from when purchasing exercise equipment. These five tips will help you select home gym equipment.

1. Make sure the product is right for you. If you like to walk, get a treadmill. Bikers  should get a stationary or recumbent bike. Those who are not sure about their favorite fitness activity, or who are committed to setting up their first fitness program, might want to try an elliptical machine. Make sure you get some help from an experienced salesperson in finding what equipment will work for you. The bottom line is that you should not get something that you will hate to use.

2. Make sure the product is comfortable for you. Does it feel right? Is it smooth, stable and quiet? Are the handle or side bars in the right position? Is it easy to use? Some weight machines are not user-friendly at all. These are things you can only find out by trying the product at a store.

3. You might want a machine that offers multiple programming and feedback. Programs can assist you in reaching your goals and also provide benchmarks along the way. The feedback information is very helpful in demonstrating progress over a period of time and is a good motivator.

4. Any fitness equipment you buy should be well-made and backed by a good warranty. Hopefully, the equipment you buy will get a lot of use and you will want to make sure that the product is up to the task. Warranties are critical if you have a problem that might call for replacement parts. A five-year parts warranty is very good. Some products offer even more benefits.

5. Make sure the equipment seller can offer you local service. If you have a good fitness routine going, the last thing you want is a broken down machine. Look for a dealer who can offer you prompt repair.

Remember your exercise equipment is your tool to get in shape and be healthy, so take the time to set up a home gym that induces you to work out. Happy New Year!

For more information, visit the Workout Fitness Store, 200 Gorham Rd., South Portland or online at

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.