Health and fitness is an important pillar of so many people’s lives, and companies delivered plenty of devices, products and services in 2022 to meet the demand. From innovative workout machines to the ultimate running shoes and wellness-tracking smartwatches, there’s more ways than ever to tap into your personal health journey.
We at Tom’s Guide know health isn’t one-size-fits-all, so the very best health and fitness products of the year cater to a wide variety of goals and needs. The best home gym equipment is a good place to start, but there are countless options for curating your wellness needs, whether it’s the right accessories or workout platform. See all the top wearables, exercise machines, workout services and gym gear we tested this year below.
And check out all the winners of the Tom’s Guide Awards 2022.
Best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 7
Yet again, Apple has brought the most capable smartwatch to the market, with the ever-popular Apple Watch remaining our top choice. The latest model, the Apple Watch Series 7, wins the Tom’s Guide Award for the top smartwatch to get. It’s not a major upgrade over the Apple Watch 6 in terms of features, but it does have a larger display in new Apple Watch 7 sizes. For the first time, the Apple Watch comes in 41mm and 45mm versions, complementing the large screen. The seventh-generation Apple gets some exclusive watch faces, a full QWERTY keyboard and faster charging, too. Simply put, this is the best smartwatch for most people.
Best smartwatch for Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
For a multitude of reasons, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the best smartwatch for Android this year. Samsung ditched the ‘Active’ branding for its latest lineup, instead pitching a sporty-looking Galaxy Watch 4 as the company’s flagship and a ‘Classic’ version that carries on characteristics like the physical rotating bezel. Thanks to a 3-in-1 health sensor, the Galaxy Watch 4 measures heart rate, takes ECGs and reads body composition, making it a capable fitness-tracking device, too. It was also the first Wear OS 3 smartwatch on the market, marking an important milestone in the unification of wearable platforms.
Best value smartwatch: Amazfit GTR 3 Pro
We often get asked whether you should buy an Amazfit Watch, and the answer is yes, specifically the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro. This is easily the brand’s most premium smartwatch, yet it’s also more affordable than much of the competition. It packs ample health and fitness features, including an excellent one-stop measurement tool for collecting your heart rate, blood oxygen, stress levels and more in a single reading. Pair that with up to 12 days of battery life and a sophisticated design, and you have the best value smartwatch of the year.
Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 5
The Fitbit Charge 5 is the best fitness tracker for most people, making it the obvious choice for the best fitness tracker award. It looks cool enough on the wrist that you don’t mind wearing it all day long thanks to the color OLED screen, which is easy to see, even in direct sunlight and it’s comfortable, even when sleeping. Like the Charge 4, the tracker has in-built GPS for accurate activity tracking, but Fitbit has added a bright, always-on color touch screen, an electrodermal activity sensor (EDA), an electrocardiogram sensor (ECG), and a new metric called “Daily Readiness Score”, which helps wearers to work out more intuitively.
Best outdoors smartwatch: Garmin Fenix 7
The Garmin Fenix 7 is a seriously impressive watch to have on your wrist, especially if you’re heading out into the great outdoors. Garmin made some big changes to the Fenix line with the 7th edition. They added better solar charging, stronger bezels to survive the toughest knocks and even a flashlight (on the flashiest model). Plus, it’s got a touchscreen, smartphone notifications, Garmin Pay, and the ability to store music on the watch, so it doubles as a pretty efficient smartwatch between adventures. The Garmin Fenix 7 is hands down the best watch on the market for serious skiers, hikers, and mountain climbers which is why it won our Tom’s Guide best outdoors smartwatch award.
Best running watch: Garmin Forerunner 255
The Garmin Forerunner 255 is a mid-level watch, with some expensive features usually reserved for some of the higher-end Garmin running watches. It comes in two sizes — 42mm and 46mm and two different versions, one with the ability to store music, and one without. We were seriously impressed with the upgrades Garmin made to this watch, which now has triathlon and multi-sport modes for the first time, as well as smartwatch features like Garmin Pay. Compared to the older Forerunner 245, it has longer battery life, a better screen and a better sensor. Whether you’re training for your first 10K or your fastest marathon, most runners will find everything they need and more with this watch.
Best exercise bike: Peloton Bike+
It’s popular for a reason — the Peloton Bike+ is well made; its content is second to none; and its rotating screen means you can use it for more than just spinning. In the saddle, it’s a comfortable bike to spin, climb and sweat on, but what really makes the Peloton stand out from its competitors, and what inched it to the top spot in our best exercise bike category, is the content it provides. The classes are extremely engaging, and the community vibe really is infectious. Of course, there are definitely cheaper options on the market, and there are ways to get the Peloton experience without the price tag, but if you can afford it this is the bike to get.
Best treadmill: Peloton Tread
Our fitness editor, Jane McGuire, says hands down this is the best treadmill she’s ever run on. The content makes the Peloton Tread stand out from the crowd — there are hundreds of classes for every level of runner at the swipe of a screen. But the treadmill itself is just top notch. The speed and incline wheels on the arms of the treadmill are genius, and make it super easy to adjust your run, without reaching to stab at the screen. Unlike a lot of treadmills on the market, it looks small and neat, and nice enough to have in your spare bedroom, without your guests feeling like they’re sleeping in a gym. It’s a joy to run on, and if you can afford it, a brilliant training tool.
Best fitness app/subscription: Apple Fitness+
Apple Fitness Plus scooped the top spot for the best fitness app or subscription because of the huge variety of workouts on offer, and for its seamless integration for connecting with the iPhone and Apple Watch. During testing, we loved the fact that instructors offer alternatives in the background, making the classes accessible to all. We were also impressed with the rate Apple added to the platform, with new classes and types of classes dropping regularly. Classes can be filtered by trainer, time, and the music you prefer to work out to. You can also add classes to your library, which lets you select classes you’ve taken before, or plan on taking in the future, at a glance.
Most innovative workout machine: Hydrow Wave
One of the biggest drawbacks for many people looking to add to their home gym is the cost, and the space. Hydrow strives to fix both with the launch of its latest innovation — the Hydrow Wave, which is $1,000 cheaper than the brand’s original machine, and 30% lighter. This is truly a case of good things coming in small packages — the rower has all of the goodness of its heavier, bulkier, big brother. There’s still a 16-inch HD screen for viewing the classes, built-in speakers, and it can pair to your headphones and heart-rate monitor via Bluetooth. It’s nice to see brands looking at the barriers their consumers face when exercising and listening.
Best running shoe: Nike Pegasus 39
For a shoe to be on its 39th iteration says a lot, and the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is nothing but reliable. It scooped the best running shoe award for a number of reasons. First, it’s one of the most versatile, durable shoes on the market. You could wear this for your first 5K, your first marathon and all the miles in-between. When compared to the Nike Pegasus 38, the running shoe got some big design upgrades to make it fit and feel better underfoot — namely a second Zoom Air unit, which gives you more energy return on the run. It’s a fantastic running shoe for beginners and more experienced runners alike.
Best carbon fiber running shoe: Nike Alphafly Next% 2
When a shoe is so fast it forces World Athletics to create new rules around midsole stack heights, you know there’s something special about it. With the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 2, the fastest shoe in the world got an update, and it’s good news for any runner who isn’t elite. The Alphafly Next% 2 still has all the magic of the first version of the shoe, but it’s more stable underfoot thanks to the slightly wider heel, making it better suited for runners who aren’t landing with the perfect stride each time (read: most of us). It scooped our best carbon fiber running shoe award because in the right conditions, it’s a joy to run in and truly does make you feel like you’re flying.
Best budget running shoe: Puma Velocity Nitro 2
These days, finding a decent pair of running shoes for around $100 feels impossible, but the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 has done just that. The shoe is an enjoyable, everyday running shoe, built for easy miles, but Puma’s Nitro midsole foam has enough snap that you can pick up the pace should you need. It’s a little softer than the original Puma Velocity Nitro, but this is by no means a bad thing — it’s super comfortable underfoot; it looks good; and it’s very reasonably priced. It’s one of the best running shoes to buy in terms of affordability and durability — sure, you’re probably not going to set a personal record in it, but you’ll get a hell of a lot of training done with this on your feet.
Best sports bra: Lululemon Enlite bra
Sure, spending the better part of $100 on a sports bra might sound excessive, but the right bra has the power to help you lift heavier, run further and sink into that cobra pose you’ve been working on for months. The Lululemon Enlite bra scooped the best sports bra award because it offers a high level of support for A-E cup sizes.
It’s buttery-soft against the skin, and kept us feeling chafe-free and dry, even on sweaty runs in the sun. There’s no annoying padding to fall-out in the washing machine here — instead the fabric moulds to your body; plus, the hook-and-eye clasp makes getting the sweaty bra off a dream. It’s truly excellent, but opt for the one without the front zipper, as that can cause chafing if you’re running in the heat.
Best massage gun: Theragun Elite
The Theragun Elite scooped the best massage gun award, because it is just that — it stands out from the crowded market because of it’s QX65 motor, which allows for 40lbs of pressure without stalling or recoiling, it’s excellent battery life of 120 minutes, and the ability to hold the gun in different ways for an easier massage. And if you’re spending $400 on a massage gun, you’ll be glad to know it’s protected by a large case. Simply put, this is a Porsche among massage guns and while it is an investment, it will help you feel and move better.
Best smart scale: Withings Body+
The Withings Body+ won our best smart scales award because it’s a joy to use. From its well-designed app, which gives you all of your data in an accessible, easy-to-read format, to the stylish design and useful on-scale display, this smart scale makes keeping track of your health a little bit easier. The Withings Body+ has a pregnancy mode, athlete mode and baby mode, and it allows you to record the data of eight different family members. Plus, there is an auto-recognition feature and automatic syncing for users. It measures in 0.1lb increments, and there are over 100 compatible apps from which to choose that will link and sync your data.