Post-holiday helpers

Now that you’ve gorged yourself on Thanksgiving turkey, holiday cookies and New Years’ champagne, you probably want to get back in shape. May we offer an alternative to sweaty gyms and packed Pilates classes?

OSIM uSurf

Recreating the movement of a surf board, the uSurf forces you to add balance and strength to every exercise you perform. At 3 feet long and a foot across, the mini board oscillates at three different speeds which can be controlled via a remote control. Even at the lowest setting, the movement is strong, but if you can handle the waves, the uSurf is an excellent way to up the ante on a tired routine. Available at Brookstone for $149.99, the uSurf comes with two resistance bands and an instructional video. While the video doesn’t break new ground, the addition of an ever moving floor makes everything feel fresh and fun. Unfortunately, the unit is extremely heavy, weighing more than 50 pounds, so you won’t want to carry it to and from the closet for storage. One of the best motivators to continue an exercise routine is enjoyment, and the uSurf provides plenty of rockin’ fun.Bosu Basic

Bosu Fitness

If you want a little more stability in your exercise routine, the Bosu Basic will ground you while still putting a new spin on an old workout. Instead of the usual spherical exercise ball, the Bosu Basic is a half dome that can be turned upside down and used to rest your hands upon during a push up—a wobbly addition that intensifies the exercise. Most movements are performed standing or laying on the half dome, and the 30-minute instructional video offers tips on how to perform the exercises at a wide variety of skill levels. At $119.95, it may seem like a high price to pay, but the versatility and quality of the unit makes up for it.

6 Second Abs
Savvier, LP

Too often, muscle gain is about the miracle cure, and while 6 Second Abs actually takes considerably longer than six seconds, it still cuts too many corners. Using resistance bands, the ab machine, available at most Wal-Marts or at, is designed to provide both resistance and tempo during a sit-up. Unfortunately the best part is the tempo. The resistance is pretty low, and the plastic frame does not fit comfortably in your lap. But the great thing about the device is the way it teaches you to slow down your sit-up, maximizing the movement. If you can justify spending roughly $43 to learn how to count to six, this is the workout machine for you.