The best fitness gadgets aren't just novelty items. These are examples of fitness tech that can really help you lose weight and get in shape, whilst also being desirable and joy-sparking consumer goods. Since many of us have been stuck at home, over-eating and not getting enough exercise, any help with getting fit is welcome right now. And for motivation and help, the best fitness tech can be a great replacement for gyms and personal trainers.
To that end, we have rounded up five of the best fitness gadgets for home workouts. They can help with your winter weight loss strategy, whether you are building a full-scale home gym or are currently using bodyweight exercises to keep in shape. Or even if you're currently doing no workout at all, but are raring to get started on a home workout program.
1. Fitbit Versa 3
The Versa has long been widely considered the best Fitbit, despite its lack of built-in GPS. But guess what? The most recent Versa finally adds GPS! Now you can accurately track your runs and cycle rides outdoors, as well using the cardio tracking – which has also become more accurate in this model – to monitor your efforts at home and away.
Versa has always been far more than a mere step counter, and Versa 3 cements that with support for Active Minutes. This sets goals for activity and rewards you more quickly if you take on more vigorous workouts.
Its surprisingly good heart-rate monitor means it can track your effort during workouts from yoga to HIIT. It can also give you an overall fitness score, and show you how you compare to other people of your age and gender.
Finally, the Versa is a stylish and increasingly competent smartwatch, with notifications, calendar reminders, contactless payments and a smattering of apps. Despite all that tracking, and having a stunning OLED screen, Alexa built in, and now Google Assistant too, battery life is excellent at about 5 days per charge.
• Shop the FIIT store – a 14-day free trial is available, Premium membership costs from £10 per month
You can use FIIT as a free home workout app, and it's got a wealth of workouts from top PTs to get your teeth into… But it really comes into its own when you add a heart-rate sensor and buy a subscription.
FIIT's own tracker – a heart-rate strap rather than a watch – is very good. Movement sensors mean it can count reps during many of the FIIT video workouts, and pulse information seems accurate. This is used to calculate your 'FIIT points' – a measure of the effort your putting in.
The genius of FIIT points is that those with a higher level of base fitness must put in more effort to gain the same number of points. As a result, FIIT is motivational for everyone from beginners to advanced workout warriors, although it does skew moer towards the latter.
The package also includes a simple adaptor so you can plug most phones or tablets in to your TV for big-screen motivation.
Laudably, FIIT does not operate a walled garden, and you can also pair a large number of third-party fitness bands, watches and straps with the app.
• Read more about FIIT
3. Next generation Wattbike Atom
Home cardio machines are in big demand right now, and no wonder. Their appeal has spread beyond those who are in training for competitive running, riding and, er, rowing and, um, cross-country skiing and are selling out fast due to demand from people who need a way to workout at home.
For most people, a bike is the best option, as it is lower impact than a treadmill and demands less effort in terms of form than a rowing machine. And Elliptical trainers, while giving a great workout, are just too silly.
At this time, the next generation Wattbike Atom has two huge advantages over the competition: it is arguably the best home trainer you can buy, and a T3 Award winner, and it is also still available to buy and get delivered, as Wattbike handles its own retail and distribution.
As part of one of our best Zwift setups, the next generation Wattbike Atom can give an intense workout with detailed feedback on how you're performing, so you can really ace fitness goals. It's also got a small footprint so won't get in the way.
4. Tanita RD 953
If you want to get a deeper insight into how your body is changing as a result of exercise, weight is not a particularly useful metric. That's also true if you're looking to lose belly fat. Tanita's body monitor scales will accurately tell you your weight, but they also offer more interesting insights. These include your muscle mass, visceral fat level, and even an estimate of your 'cardio age' – ideally what comes up here is lower than your actual age.
The RD 953 is also quite attractive as bathroom scales go, and has Bluetooth so it can be connected to the Tanita app on your phone, funnelling your body data into Apple Health or Google Health.
5. Beats by Dr Dre Powerbeats
Music during a workout can be incredibly motivating, so long as it's not some dirge by Sam Smith. Powerbeats Pro remain the ultimate headphones for running and gym, but there is now a more affordable option from the house of Dr Dre, which is ideal for using when working out in your house. The only trade-off with their more spendy sibling is that they are conjoined by a wire, rather than being true wireless.
Powerbeats offers an almost literally unshakeable fit – believe us, we've tried – without compromising comfort, and deliver a sound that is suitably rousing for soundtracking intense workouts. The battery lasts for 15 hours, so if you are thinking of doing a marathon on your balcony, these will see you through it. Do think of your downstairs neighbours, though.
My 6. BoxVR VR boxing by FitXR
VR headsets have really got lighter and more comfortable these days, to the point where the idea of working out whilst wearing one is not at all silly. Our favourite current virtual workout is BoxVR, which is compatible with Vive, PSVR and Oculus headsets.
A bit like Wii boxing crossed with Dance Dance Revolution, BoxVR requires you to jab, hook and uppercut targets that race towards you in waves, as well as floating like a butterfly and crouching like a, er, bee to avoid larger obstacles.
It's hypnotic, and a lot of fun, and surprisingly effective as a workout. You don't need a huge amount of space, either, although we recommend not standing directly under light fittings. Boy did we find that out the hard way.
FitXR also now offers dance-based workouts – which is logical, as their boxing workouts are quite like a form of dance, as we mentioned above. There are 8 classes – four for beginners and four intermediate – and they are yours for no additional cost.
T3 created this content as part of a paid partnership with Wattbike. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of T3. Read more about Wattbike here.