It would seem the folks at Peloton are trying to sell us more than just a stationery bike ... and we’re buying into it.

We’d like to develop the slim, toned physique that the bike and our dashboard trainer Holly will wring out of us (she will not go easy on us, we’re told), but we would also very much like to live where the bike and its rider do; in that clutter-free house so sleek and windowed that it’s practically the outdoors itself.

So what will it cost us, this bike, this gateway to our dream lifestyle, and will it be worth it?

“I wish the purchase alone made people healthier… but a quick glance through Craigslist on any given day leads one to believe that many people don’t put the equipment they purchased to use enough to keep it,” says Mary Beth Knight, fitness and lifestyle expert, author, speaker and a partner of Revolution Fitness in Newtown. “For many, the home bike, treadmill or stair stepper becomes one expensive coat rack.”

So the key becomes choosing the investment, from home equipment to gym membership, that will actually get used.

“First and foremost consumers must take time to select equipment that they are most likely to use on a consistent basis, especially cardiovascular equipment,” says Tom Holland, Bowflex fitness advisor. “While price is often a factor for most people, paying a little more on equipment that you will utilize is a much smarter decision that spending less on a piece that will sit unused.”

Knowing yourself and your habits, your strengths and your weaknesses will help you make the right decision, Knight says. If you struggle with self-motivation, “then don’t waste your money on equipment.

“Get yourself a trainer or a gym membership instead,” Knight says. “Trainers and fitness instructors deliver both the exercise and the motivation.”

As a “formerly obese smoker-turned-Ironman” Knight knows something about the importance of motivation.

“The good news is that as few as two times a week can have a positive impact on their health and well-being—three times a week and they will see even bigger changes,” she said. “Exercise is not punishment… do what you like to do most, because in the end, the benefits come from the repetition of exercise, not necessarily the type of exercise.”

However, there are populations of people who make good candidates for home gyms, including older adults who need activity but maybe don’t drive or prefer not to leave home, parents whose only free time is when the kids are sleeping, and people who work from home.

“Exercise stimulates brain function and 10 minutes here or there throughout the workday will increase productivity,” Knight says.

“If you have a home, you have a home gym,” Holland says. “You need not spend a lot of money or dedicate a lot of space to get started, either. All you really need to begin is one piece of cardiovascular equipment that you will enjoy, like the Bowflex Max Trainer or Bowflex TreadClimber, a set of dumbbells … and a mat for floor exercises and stretching.”

Holland adds that according to a recent study by the American Heart Association, people who engage in regular exercise report a much lower risk of hospitalization, emergency room visits and the use of prescription drugs, averaging $500-$2500 less in annual medical costs than people who did not exercise.