Going to the health club for a lot of people can be a daunting task and downright painful for others. From the hassle of driving there, going to change, unfamiliarity using machines-- it can become more of a job then an enjoyable habit which it ultimately should be.
Then there's the whole aspect of our self esteem and feeling inferior to others you may see and want to look like. These are some of the reasons that by April or May, gyms begin to see their memberships dwindling down by members who had really good intentions back in January.
But don't despair, there are great ways to stay physically fit and you don't have to rob a bank to get exercise equipment. For cardiovascular purposes, jogging, brisk walking, swimming (if applicable), biking and hiking are among my favorites. For strength training, pushups are possibly one of the best forms of strengthening up the upper body.
For abdominal work, simple crunches to work the rectus abdominus, oblique and lower abs are a key to health and longevity. There is no need to get a 6 pack here, just strength will do. A weak abdominal core can lead to lots of back and posture problems.
Speaking of posture, good stretching is also vital for those seeking increased body tones. That is why Yoga is something that I feel is a must.
Just the above workout of one cardio exercise, pushups, abdominal work and stretching is an excellent workout regimen that should easily suffice. If you want to add some inexpensive equipment, try an exercise ball. You will absolutely be amazed when you learn that you can get a full body workout with a $15 bouncing ball.
Some other inexpensive equipment include dumbells, a flat bench, jump rope or even a pull up bar.
Although I think most expensive equipment is a waste of money, if dollars are not an object, then a treadmill, recumbent bike or stair climber are good choices. Also, some good universal setups are wise as long as you are getting the full body workout with them.
Overall, you really don't need to get fancy if you are going to do it at home or office or wherever. One important note here is that if you plan on doing it alone, please get expert help and make sure that your workout routine is correct and not causing any additional problems.