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Post-COVID, the way that we work out changed: Fewer people are signing up for gym memberships to stay strong and healthy, opting instead for virtual fitness classes or home-gym solutions that deliver real results in a more convenient, affordable way. But spending less on pricey gym memberships, boutique fitness, and in-person self-care doesn’t mean you have to settle for products or solutions that won’t last.
Our fitness lab worked hard to select workout gear and health items that are designed to withstand your toughest workouts and make investing in yourself feel worth it, so you can feel more comfortable and confident, year after year.
Here are our favorite health and fitness products, or jump to all the 2022 Best of Year awards.
For a fitness tracker that keeps tabs on all aspects of your health—fitness, sleep, and stress—you can’t beat the Fitbit Charge 5. In addition to counting your steps and reminding you to move, this tracker has a built-in GPS and quick-start exercise modes so you can easily record workouts. The sleep tracking is accurate and lets you review insights on your sleep phases, heart rate, and estimated oxygen variation. Not only does it track your sleep habits, but it helps you build better ones by reminding you to wind-down before bedtime. The Charge 5 also includes electrodermal activity sensors that help evaluate your stress levels, which Fitbit rates on a scale of one to 100 that you can view in the app. Read the full review.
There’s a reason “home exercise bike” is synonymous with “Peloton.” With the Peloton Bike+, you’ll look forward to cycling each and every day with the streaming live and on-demand classes and the super-engaged community. The Bike+ is easy to use, thanks to its size adjustability, swiveling screen (so you can take off-bike classes without craning your neck), and “auto-follow” setting (which adjust the resistance along with the instructor's cues). What's more, Peloton’s classes are unmatched in both quantity and quality and we had so much fun taking them, we almost forgot we were pedaling our legs off. Read the full review.
Lululemon’s The Reversible Mat 5mm is our favorite yoga mat, hands-down. It has just the right amount of cushion to provide a soft landing pad for your joints, but enough support that you’re not wobbling all over the place in balancing poses. Its tactile polyurethane surface and textured natural rubber base give a fantastic grip no matter which side you place face-up, and that reversible versatility makes it great for both yoga workouts and as a base for other types of exercise, like ab work. Read the full review.
The intent of buying adjustable dumbbells, apart from their space-saving size, is that you can use just one pair for your entire workout at whatever load is appropriate for each individual exercise. So above all else, you'll want there to be a seamless transition from one weight to the next. Bowflex’s SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are our top pick because they’re easy to rack and adjust, comfortable to hold, and have some of the smallest weight increments of the dumbbells we tested, which make them great for a variety of exercises. Read the full review.
If you’re looking for a fun, efficient at-home workout, consider adding the Hydrow Wave rowing machine to your home gym. A more compact version of our previous favorite, the original Hydrow, this stylish rower brings the camaraderie of training on the water indoors and allows you to stream workouts led by top-tier instructors from exotic locales around the world. The classes are accessible enough for beginners, and the app also gives you access to cross-training classes like strength, yoga, and resistance workouts with your subscription. Read the full review.
Just because treadmills are classic pieces of cardio equipment, that doesn’t mean they have to be basic. The NordicTrack Commercial 1750 offers a variety of resistance levels ranging from a -3% decline to a 15% incline, a roomy belt for wide strides, and a sturdy-yet-springy belt that makes for comfortable walks, runs, and sprint intervals. In addition, the treadmill's 10-inch touchscreen display connects to the workout platform iFit to offer guided running or walking sessions, filmed in beautiful locations and instructed by top running coaches. Read the full review.
When it comes to massage guns for easing out sore muscles, you can’t beat the Theragun Elite. This model has five speed levels and comes with five attachments, so you’re sure to find the right combination of speed and pressure to alleviate any pain or soreness at just the right intensity. And for those who aren’t sure how to maneuver a massage gun, the Elite connects to Therabody’s app, which features guided massage sessions for various muscle groups and adjusts your gun’s intensity settings automatically to match the prompts. Read the full review.
Treat yourself—and your feet—with the Renpho foot massager. It has three intensity settings and an optional heat setting, which allow you to customize your massage experience. We enjoyed every massage setting on the Renpho, which may not sound like much—can foot massages really be bad?)—but there were some massagers we tried that we barely felt or nearly crushed our poor feet. But with the Renpho, we felt more comfortable, relaxed, and satisfied after every use. Read the full review.
Buying glasses online doesn’t have to be a hassle. EyeBuy Direct offers glasses at a variety of prices, quick shipping, and one of the best virtual try-on features we tested to make it easy to picture yourself in your new frames. With EyeBuy Direct, we think everyone will find a pair of glasses they’ll love. Read the full review.
There are many reasons you may be thinking of switching to a menstrual cup from traditional period products. Perhaps you heard that you can save money over time or that they’re better for the environment than the typical single-use options. While picking a menstrual cup is a personal choice, we think the AllMatters cup (formerly known as OrganiCup) is the best out there for most period-havers, thanks to its ease of use and all-day comfortability. It’s soft enough that it’s easy to fold and insert, but sturdy enough that it won’t slip around while in use. Read the full review.
For the most detailed look at your heritage from a DNA testing kit, we recommend AncestryDNA. As the original digital DNA testing platform, AncestryDNA has the largest database to use for testing and tracing. We found that AncestryDNA gave the most detailed breakdown of our genes, including interesting information to put the findings into context, and was most likely to connect us to genetic relatives, known and unknown. Read the full review.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.