As home workouts continue to be a way of life for many, fitness tech devices have gotten more popular than ever, too. One study found that about 30% of U.S. adults use wearable health care devices, with almost half using them daily. They can do everything from monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and other health metrics to provide you with whatever type of workout you’re seeking. And they can also help you decompress afterward with a guided meditation and even track how you sleep. If you’re new to fitness tech devices, there’s literally something for everyone, all depending on what you’re seeking to achieve from them.
“Tech is so valuable because it can give you specific, targeted information about your habits and that can help you,” Ashley Borden, celebrity/master trainer whose clients have included Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, and Ryan Gosling, tells TZR in an email. “Making little tweaks leads to bigger changes.” (And she should know: She’s also the creator of the AB Fit App, a curated fitness program, as well as The S.O.S. Food Plan.)
However, even though fitness tech devices continue to get more advanced, Borden says to use any fitness tech devices wisely. “If you feel triggered or defeated by too much info — for let’s say calories, steps, weight, etc. — try to start simple,” she says. “Identify what you really need the most help with, and start there. If you truly want to get your steps in but you have no idea how to do so and seeing your actual daily steps helps you feel motivated, then wear that tracker! But if you feel like you have to ‘cheat’ on your food tracker or find yourself not being honest — it’s probably not the right use of tech.”
As for her favorite tech? Borden likes tracking her sleep. “If you don’t sleep, your body will slowly fall apart, mentally and physically,” she says. “When you can focus on getting seven to eight hours of good sleep, you will feel the positive ripple effects all through your life. Sleep tech is an excellent way to really track the quality of your sleep to really know what’s going on when you are not awake, and how to make the changes to achieve your sleep goals.” She says you can’t ‘make up’ sleep on the weekend. “If you don’t have good sleep habits, sleep tech can be life-changing,” she adds.
That said, with so many fitness devices and tools at your fingertips, which tried-and-true ones should you actually invest in for 2022? To get to the bottom of this, TZR tapped lifestyle editors to discuss their favorite tech devices that help keep them moving and motivated. (Across the board, several named the Apple Watch as their go-to, but other fitness wearables made the cut, too, as you’ll see below.) So if you’re seeking inspiration for your next purchase, look no further.
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Apple Watch 7
What can’t the Apple Watch 7 do? From measuring personal health metrics to providing you with various workouts, it’s a favorite among the editors spoken to for this story. Plus, new workouts are constantly added in case you want some variety, and you can wind down with one of the included meditations, too — and sync everything to your other Apple devices, of course. And when you use Fitness+ from Apple Watch, you can choose from all kinds of workouts, from HIIT to yoga, and the real-time metrics will help you stay moving — and motivated. “The Apple Watch close-your-ring reminders may be a little extra, but getting buzzed to stand when I’ve been glued to the couch for too long is ridiculously helpful,” Melanie Mignucci, lifestyle editor at Bustle, tells TZR in an email. “Recently, I’ve also been using my Watch for Fitness+’s meditation classes — anyone can squeeze five minutes of mindfulness in between emails, right?”
Apple Watch Nike
Aemilia Madden, senior fashion editor at TZR, is also a big Apple Watch fan. “It may seem simple, but my Apple Watch Nike has become an integral part of my fitness routine,” she tells TZR in an email. “I use it to track my walks, I wear it in the water when I'm surfing, and use it in tandem with both the Nike Run Club and Peloton apps to act as a heart monitor and keep track of my workouts. Having something small that keeps me accountable is the key to success in my book.” If you’re looking for a running partner, you’ve found one with the Apple Watch Nike. The watch face even moves with you, and you can also opt for a coach that cheers you on when doing Guided Runs.
JaxJox Foam RollerConnect
Workout recovery just got easier... and smarter. The new JaxJox interactive home studio features all manner of handy tech-driven versions of classic workout essentials. Think adjustable dumbbells, kettlebells, push-up bars, and a foam roller. The latter happens to be a new favorite of TZR Executive Editor Angela Melero. “I’m training for a half-marathon, so my legs and body have been worked pretty hard these past few months,” she says. “Recovery has been a priority of mine, but I just can’t deal with these bulky foam rollers that don’t even seem like they’re working half the time.”
The avid runner explains that the new JaxJox foam roller is a game-changer in that it features varied and adjustable vibration levels to activate sore muscles. It also includes a proprietary algorithm to analyze workout activity and determine the intensity level needed for effective recovery. “It connects to my Apple Watch and health apps for easy tracking, which is a plus since I’m obsessively noting every bit of activity right now,” says Melero. “This is a must for any and all fitness lovers, especially those who go hard with their sweat sessions!”
Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music
Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is the ultimate running smartwatch. In addition to measuring things like your heart rate, it’ll let you know if you’re on target with your running goals or overdoing it. Plus, it’ll give you up to six hours of music to make your run all the more enjoyable. Melissa Dahl, executive director of health and lifestyle for BDG, has found it to be a game-changer. “A perpetual worst thing of mine during my training runs was the armband that carried my phone,” she tells TZR in an email. “It was heavy, and it chafed, and it made me feel lopsided — but I needed it, because I needed my phone and I needed my music. What was I supposed to do but just suck it up?” But then, a few weeks before a race, she tried Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music. “It lets you download up to 500 songs from your Spotify account,” she says. “You sync it with your wireless headphones, and bam! You’re running phone-free. I’d recommend it for any runner in your life who has a tendency to break down into toddler-esque tantrums mid-run, which is another way of saying I’d recommend it for any runner in your life.”
Amanda Chan, vice president of content strategy for BDG’s lifestyle and parenting brands, loves the Beats Flex from Beats by Dre. “These provide the soundtrack — i.e., beat, motivation, entertainment — to my morning runs,” she tells TZR in an email. “I prefer these to completely cordless earphones, which tend to fall out of my ears just a little too easily when I exercise (thanks a lot, super-active sweat glands). I like that these are unobtrusive and cute (they come in awesome colors; mine are pink), and the cord doesn’t bother me at all when I’m running.” She says that there are even magnets on the actual earbud part that keep them joined together whenever she needs to take them out for a quick moment, forming a sort of necklace, so that she doesn’t have to fear losing them. “The sound quality is great, too, and they don't slip out of my ears at all — no matter my pace, training regimen, or how sweaty I get!”
Adidas Noise-Canceling Earbuds
The Adidas True Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds (also known as the Adidas Z.N.E. 01 ANC True Wireless Earbuds) provide you with 4.5 hours of playtime and are not just sweat-proof but also water-resistant. You can also switch from Active Noise-Canceling mode to Awareness mode. Michelle Toglia, deputy lifestyle editor at Bustle, says she struggled to find headphones that were lightweight, loud enough, and stayed put in her ear during her outdoor runs. “I was so used to having to stop and frantically comb through a pile of leaves to try and find an earbud that popped out mid-run, that when the Adidas earbuds fit perfectly — and I discovered they were noise-canceling and had a sleek design — I immediately fell in love,” she tells TZR in an email. “Knowing I’ll be able to get lost in music or a podcast (and I won't have to go looking for them at any point during my workout) makes it so much easier to motivate myself to brace the elements in the colder months. They’re so comfortable that I keep them in way beyond my runs.”
Therabody’s Theragun Mini
If you could use a massage after your CrossFit or boxing session, Therabody’s Theragun Mini could be just the thing. Plus, since it’s so compact, you can take it everywhere. BDG social media strategist Maggie Haddad swears by it. “Therabody’s Theragun Mini saves my muscles after a tough workout,” she tells TZR in an email. “The device has three different speed settings, allowing you to customize your massage. Since I started incorporating the Theragun into my fitness routine, I’ve noticed my recovery time cut in half. Not to mention, if I'm feeling a bit stiff after sitting at my desk all day, using the Theragun feels like the most luxurious massage.”