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Research first and then buy according to realistic needs

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One of the first and most logical steps to take when buying fitness equipment is to evaluate your exercise goals and what equipment you are likely to use.

If you hate to run, don't buy a treadmill. Buy according to whether strength training, cardiovascular health, or a combination of both, is the main fitness goal. And, buy equipment you like to use: stationary bikes are good for some, while elliptical trainers are good for others, while weight benches are good for others still.  No idea what is best for you?  See if a local gym will give you a 1-day or 1-week trial, so you can see what equipment you like.

Also consider the space available in the home--fold-away equipment can work well for small spaces.

Once you've narrowed down the search, then start researching equipment and comparing prices. Sports Authority has a great set of reviews and buying guides posted at their website.

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