Re: Question on core strength
Congrats on focusing your efforts towards becoming a healthier, better you.
Just wanted to tell you that those "beachball looking" things are called stability balls. They come in all sizes and colors and is actually one of the cheapest and most useful pieces of equipment you should purchase for yourself. As you know it will help to increase your core strenght while helping to strenghten your back and improve your posture and balance. You don't have to waste a lot of money on the ones you see advertised on infomercials, and can pick one up at just about any dept/fitness store between $15 and up (depending on quality/size/and accessories be it a pump, video, or resistance band).
I would not worry too much about the quality. I myself have a cheap one and it works just fine. The important thing is to use it, and if you find you do use it enough to pop it, then you know it would be worth investing in a higher quality ball.
Do however pay attention to the size of the ball. Basically, if you are going to be using the ball for traditional ab exercises, you have to get the appropriate one for your height in order to put yourself in the right position (knees and hips at a right angle)in order not to hurt your back. And keep it fully inflated so that it is firm when you use it.
Here's a quick quide from ACE:
HEIGHT BALL SIZE
Under 4'6'' - 30cm (12 inches)
4'6'' - 5'' - 45cm (18 inches)
5'1'' - 5'7'' - 55cm (22 inches)
5'8'' - 6'2'' - 65cm (26 inches)
Over 6'2'' - 75cm (30 inches)
Alright, well good luck!