Stuck in a workout rut? Check out these ideas

Even the most dedicated jogger, walker or aerobics junkie can lose motivation. And we all know what happens if you're not motivated. (Hello, Häagen-Dazs!).

ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, has come up with dozens of new ideas to jump-start your workouts.

"Our guide covers everything from the best fitness phone apps and podcasts to cushy sneakers that will get you running again," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor in chief of ShopSmart.

Below is a sampling of ways to enhance your workout and help you get in shape this year.

Web sites

Learn a new workout or just track what you are doing on these helpful Web sites. is a free Web-based diet-and-fitness journal to help track eating by calories, carbs, fat, fiber and protein. See how you measure against RDA recommendations. is a free way to create personalized diet and fitness plans. Get access to YouTube-powered videos of a certified trainer demonstrating new moves or a top chef preparing a healthful meal. is free to access but compatible equipment costs extra. Best for training for a race, the Nike+ sensor ($19) will sync with your iPod or Nike SportBand to track your time, distance, pace and calories burned.


Download these onto your smartphone or your computer and check out iTunes for even more options. costs 99 cents and up. The site offers 300-plus workouts including cycling, ballet, boxing, stretching and strength training for beginners to experts.

Nutrition Diva on is a free way to get inspired with fun cooking tips and other info shared by professionally trained chef Monica Reinagel during weekly audio podcasts. is free for one class a week, $3.99 for any class you like or $9.99 a month for unlimited access to 180 classes taught by certified instructors, ranging in skill level from beginner to guru.

New gear

Can't afford a gym membership? Invest in some relatively inexpensive items to get a great workout at home or outdoors.

Accelerometers cost $45 and up. It's like a pedometer but measures more than just steps, capturing every move throughout your day and measuring intensity (reaching for the remote isn't the same as running). Some even track the calories you burn.

Balls, bands and other toys cost between $5 and $90. Spend just a few dollars for an item with get-fit potential. Many come with DVDs or instruction sheets to show you how to use them for best results. Great options include a set of stretchy resistance bands ($5 for a single band to $40 for a set), a jump-rope ($7.50 to $45), a pair of hand weights ($10 to $50) and an oversize stability ball ($9 to $90).