the most effective health tech in 2022

I’ve tested and reviewed over 50 home fitness machines in the past year. From smart wearables like the Apple Watch to indoor bikes like Peloton, there are tons of great options to choose from. With so much choice, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what should be a priority.

To help you, I’ve ranked the best fitness techs in 2022.

The best fitness technique in 2022 – video

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Ranking of fitness tech levels

As with any ranking system, it’s definitely somewhat subjective and certainly up for debate. Feel free to let us know what you agree or disagree with in the comments section.

There are four tiers, and this is how I’ve defined them for this particular list:

  • Step 1: Anyone who can should really consider having these. While nothing about Home Fitness Tech is absolutely necessary, these are as close as you can get.
  • Rank 2: Fitness technology that I would recommend to most, but not necessarily to everyone.
  • Level 3: These are things I still suggest but are definitely more specific to the individual.
  • Level 4: Products that I would only recommend for a very specific type of person.

Smart scales

Smart scales can be a useful tool when trying to lose or gain weight. Since weight can fluctuate from day to day, it’s helpful to use a 7-day moving average to understand your progress. A smart scale that records every measurement can greatly simplify this process.

However, I would be very cautious about using most of the “smart” features, such as B. Estimates of body fat percentage. Smart scales are generally unreliable and inaccurate for most data other than weight. These go in Tier 3 because while they are useful for accessing your weight loss or gain, they are necessarily always helpful.

Result: Class 3

Intelligent sleeping systems

Here I am referring to mattresses or mattress covers that can adjust the temperature of the bed to improve sleep and rest. There are a few systems like this, including Eight Sleep, which I reviewed.

While their high price will be a hindrance for many, and those who already sleep well may not need one, they are one of the best tools I’ve seen for improving sleep quality. Since most people would definitely benefit from a quality night’s sleep, I categorized these as Level 2.

Result: Class 2

Smart wearables

Smart wearables, whether it’s a watch like the Apple Watch, a band like WHOOP, or even a ring like Oura, are all being used to track and monitor useful health and fitness data. While each has its pros and cons, what they all have in common is that they can provide you with feedback on your performance and recovery.

With more fitness features on the way to the Apple Watch and statistical reports from WHOOPS on how your own behavior affects your sleep and recovery, these tools are becoming an indispensable part of personalized fitness.

Smart wearables are among the few items that make it to #1 because they’re useful to pretty much everyone who uses them.

Result: Class 1

Running GPS clocks

Similar to smart wearables, GPS watches run, like those from Garmin and Coros. These are certainly not that universal as they are primarily intended for runners and a few other outdoor sports. However, the data they provide is much more comprehensive and useful for their primary audience.

Because these watches are designed for a very specific purpose, they can provide much more advanced and in-depth fitness and sports analysis. While running GPS watches fall into tier 3, if you’re a runner they should be in tier 1.

Result: Class 3

massage guns

Massage guns have become very popular among athletes over the past decade. I also really enjoy using them, but I don’t think they should be a high priority for most.

Massage guns are great for their main purpose, which is helping you prepare your tissues for a workout. However, they’re usually not the best use of your time after a workout or in lieu of regular stretching or foam rolling.

If you’re serious about your training and spend a lot of time warming up to look your best, then massage guns might be a higher priority. However, since most people don’t use a massage gun this way, they fall into Stage 3.

Result: Class 3

compression systems

Compression systems, like the popular Normatecs, are a great option for reducing pain and recovery, among other benefits. They’re not just for athletes either. My mother-in-law, for example, currently uses one to help with circulation in the legs

They’re also a tool that I think people will actually use long-term because of how little effort is required; You can easily jump into a compression session while watching TV or reading a book. I put them in Tier 2 as I think most people put a lot of stock in when using one.

Result: Class 2

Vibrating foam rollers

If we were talking about foam rollers in general, that would be Tier 1. However, since this is a fitness tech tier list, we’re only talking about vibrating foam rollers. Unfortunately I can’t recommend it to everyone.

I personally find them quite useful. However, I put them at level 4 because I feel the price difference between them and a regular foam roller is too high relative to the added benefit.

I think vibrating foam rollers are more beneficial than regular ones, but only a little bit. Since they typically cost around 10x more, I’m not sure the small extra perk is worth it for the average person.

Score: Level 4

Smart water bottles

Smart water bottles, like the HidrateSpark now sold in Apple Stores, also fall into Tier 4, although I’ve been using them for almost five years.

I struggle with hydration so find it useful for tracking my water intake. But in terms of a priority list for everyone, I’m not sure a smart water bottle should be at the top of the list anywhere.

Of course, hydration is incredibly important, and if you struggle to drink enough water like I do, you might want to consider one. Otherwise, you’ll probably get by without one.

Score: Level 4

units of ten

A 10 unit like the Marc Pro is probably the most underrated item on this entire list.

When you’re active, it’s inevitable that everyone will get a sprain or a sprain now and then. While you can compress and elevate an injury to keep swelling down, using a ten is one of the best things you can do with an injury. Fresh blood flow to bring oxygen and nutrients to your injured tissue helps speed the healing process, and that’s exactly what a ten machine does.

This is why you’ll see one in every physical therapist’s office and probably should have one in your home too.

Result: Class 1

indoor bikes

Indoor bikes like Peloton or NordicTrack are a great addition to your home. The content they deliver is so good that it will leave you wanting to keep coming back. If you don’t usually find cardio fun, this might be the trick to finally enjoying it.

The only reason indoor bikes don’t fall into Tier 1 is because of the cycling movement itself – cycling doesn’t engage your whole body. Even with your legs, it’s not a huge range of motion to move through. While I love them and think they’re a great option, they won’t be a perfect fit for everyone.

Result: Class 2

treadmills

Treadmills are similar to indoor bikes in many ways, except they tend to take up more space and are usually a little less necessary. Depending on where you live, walking or jogging outside is generally fine, while daily cycling can be a bit tiring.

While many will enjoy walking to a course on a treadmill much more than walking out on the sidewalk, for many it still won’t be an essential purchase.

Result: Class 3

Elliptical Trainer & Stepper

Elliptical trainers and steppers work more muscle groups than almost any other option, and there are a good number of people who prefer them. However, I’m not sure most would choose one as the only cardio machine in their house.

I would suggest trying one out first to know if you prefer one as they are definitely more of a niche choice. I still enjoy them!

Score: Level 4

fitness mirror

What I like most about fitness mirrors is that they do what I think all fitness equipment should thrive for: look invisible indoors.

Fitness mirrors do this better than anything else. While I love the HIIT and yoga workouts these smart mirrors focus on, I’m not sure everyone needs one. They feel more like a luxury than using an app on your phone or TV.

Result: Class 3

Smart gyms

All-in-one smart gyms like Tempo and Tonal not only track the reps, but also the weights you’re using for each exercise. They provide guidance on how much to lift for each movement and offer progressive programs that can be incredibly useful.

This is an excellent choice, especially for those who need a lot of guidance when doing strength training. However, for those with a lot of experience here, they might not be quite as useful.

Result: Class 2

VR headset

I think virtual reality (VR) has a lot of potential and some training programs, like Supernatural, are a lot of fun. However, I think fitness in VR still has too many limitations to be a great option for most.

Currently, VR fitness is usually limited to non-weighted arm movements like shadow boxing. There are some programs that let you ride a bike or row in VR as well, but since you’ll be sweating with a headset, it’s not the most comfortable or necessary experience.

I know a lot of people who like these fitness programs, and I do on occasion too. But it’s just not good enough for me to suggest it just yet, except for those who already have a VR headset like the Meta Quest.

Score: Level 4

indoor rower

I left rowers for last because they’re the only cardio machine I put in Tier 1.

Personally, I think there should be a rower in every household. They usually take up the least amount of space when stored upright. You use a wide range of motion for your legs and arms. Yes, there is a lot of technique to learn and some flexibility requirements, but it’s more than worth the extra effort.

If you can get your hands on an indoor rower, I highly recommend getting one.

Result: Class 1

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