Getting more exercise is a top New Year's resolution, but you can skip the January rush to join a gym. Consumer Reports has advice on how to set up a home gym without giving your wallet a real workout.

"All you need are a few inexpensive props and a good fitness routine to get started," said Gayle Williams, Health Editor for Consumer Reports.

The stability ball can help build your core strength and improve your balance. You can also use it to tone your glutes and legs. And it only costs about $30.

Try jumping rope for 15 minutes for another instant cardio workout.  A jump rope with non-slip foam handles is the best and costs around $6. Or you can try hula hooping. Not only is it a good cardio exercise, it's also great for your core. You can purchase a hula hoop for about $6.

Elastic bands or tubes are another great item to have, says Williams. 

“You can use them for resistance training to strengthen and tone your muscles," Williams said of the items, that go for about $8 and up.

Exercise mats are also handy. The extra cushioning is helpful for push-ups and other exercises you do on the floor. They’re sold for about $20. Free weights are another useful tool. A pair costs anywhere from $10 to $60.

"If you can, buy two pairs -- a lighter pair to work your arms and shoulders, and a heavier pair to work your back and chest," Williams said.

To develop a good exercise routine with aerobic exercise aim for 30 minutes, five days a week. And do strength training two to three days a week.

Another great form of exercise that doesn't have to cost a thing is plain old walking. If the weather's not great, walk at the mall.

A pedometer is handy for tracking how much you walk. You can buy one for $20 to $30 or download a pedometer app for your phone for around $4.