With the coronavirus, working from home, working out at home, and election stress, 2020 has been a tough year for our health and wellbeing. For many, our lives look nothing like they did in 2019 and we’ve had to adapt to living in a pandemic. Through it all, companies still continued to innovate and put out products to improve your health and wellness.
From massage guns and breast pumps to the next generation of the top smartwatch, let’s look back on the best health, wellness and fitness products from this year.
I can sum up the most important health trends of 2020 as home exercise equipment, face masks and COVID-19 tests. That last one became crucial as cases of coronavirus infections skyrocketed (and continue to do so), and people needed reliable ways to get tested while protecting others. At-home COVID-19 tests allowed us to confirm whether or not we were infected without having to put essential workers at doctor’s offices and testing sites at risk.
There are many different at-home COVID-19 tests on the market now that we’ve covered. All of them have played a role in slowing the spread of the virus and for that they deserve recognition. One of the first and least expensive is from Everlywell, which is $109 and can be covered by an FSA or HSA.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have tense, sore muscles after a year like this. And with spas closed during most of 2020, getting a massage at home is more important than ever.
Therabody, the company behind the popular Theragun massage guns, launched several new models this year to break up tense muscles and pound away any pain. The cheapest of the bunch, the $200 Theragun Mini gets my vote as one of the most useful products of the year.
The compact design fits in anyone’s space, while still delivering the power you need from a massage gun to ease soreness and tension.
Read our hands-on with the new Theragun models.
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Apple’s new fitness streaming service isn’t revolutionary at first glance. There are many other services that allow you to take virtual exercise classes from the comfort of your home, for a low monthly cost. What sets Fitness Plus apart from the rest is that it’s connected to your Apple Watch, meaning that it pulls in your heart rate and calories burned, as recorded by your watch, into the workout, so you can see those stats in real time during the class.
At $10 per month, it’s far cheaper than a membership to a fitness studio, but you get access to studio-quality classes. At launch, there are more than 100 yoga, strength-training, core, treadmill, rowing, HIIT, cycling, dance and mindful cooldown classes to choose from, with more added each week.
Read our full review of Apple Fitness Plus.
The Willow breast pump doesn’t turn heads, and that’s the whole point. This discreet breast pump slips into your bra so that you can pump milk while you do other things, like work or take care of the baby. It’s completely untethered, and stores milk in special spill-proof round bags that fit into the pump.
For moms who are returning to work, or just want more freedom during the day, the Willow is a game-changer.
Read our review of the Willow here.
Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET
Every year the Apple Watch gets a little bit better. In 2020, the Apple Watch Series 6 added a blood oxygen sensor in its ever-evolving mission to become a full-blown health tool on your wrist. It also still can perform an ECG, alert you if your heart rate seems too high or low, monitor your heart rhythm for irregularities and call for help if you fall.
While it actually launched in late 2019, I am including the Myx Fitness Myx bike here because of its value, when compared to the coveted Peloton bike. This spin bike comes with a 21.5-inch screen and original, in-house fitness programming, just like the original Peloton bike, but for less cash (technically the Peloton has a 22-inch screen, but who’s counting?).
If you want to bring the experience of a spin class home and don’t want to pay Peloton prices, the Myx is a worthy alternative.
Check out more Peloton alternatives here.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.