Social distancing has been a big bummer, but a silver lining of the health challenges of 2020 is that our health, fitness and overall wellness is a bigger priority than ever before. To help us feel our best, we've put together a wish list of everything we'd like in our shopping carts now. Word to the wise: Don't hesitate on purchases, lest you be in danger of re-living the home fitness famine of spring 2020 when seemingly every retailer ran out of hand weights.
18 Feel-Good Essentials (Including Fitness Gear) That Are Bound to Sell Out in 2021
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1. Tangram Led Display Smart Jump Rope
Best for Cardio Fiends
Boxers and other superb physical specimens have long turned to jumping rope as an element in their hardcore, high-yield regimens. This app-enabled version helps you work at max efficiency since it lets you track and store fitness data like number of reps and calories burned. Bonus—you can connect and compete with friends, because there’s no need for your big jump energy to go unheralded just because you’re not in the gym with your buddies.
2. Marble Dumbbell Weights
Best for Living Room Worker-Outers
A pair of luxe weights in limestone, black marble or travertine is spendy, but will look cute on your coffee table forever. (And remind you to get active every time you reach for the remote.)
Buy It ($110)
3. Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser
Best for Clean Air Fans
This winter is the time to get hip to the uplifting power of diffusers, if you haven't already. This minimalist vessel comes in terracotta, charcoal, black or white versions to align with your home decor and can run up to seven hours, quietly emitting soothing eucalyptus, stimulating grapefruit or relaxing lavender-infused steam into your world.
4. Lexon Oblio Wireless Charger
Best for Germphobes (AKA Everyone These Days)
You know your phone is a total germ magnet. This gadget uses UV light to sanitize your smartphone and eliminate 99.9 percent of screen germs in a mere 20 minutes—all while giving it a charge. How’s that for multitasking?
5. Yoga Design Lab Yoga Wheel
Best for Recovering Slouchers
This cork-and-polymer circle isn't just for yogis—it's a great help to anyone who sits hunched for hours over a keyboard or behind the wheel of a car, wondering why their neck, shoulders and back are aching. Laying back on this circle and letting your head and arms relax is a great way to counteract stress as well as a great reminder that shoulders-back is a healthier way to hold our upper body.
Buy It ($65)
6. Theragun Smart Bluetooth Wave Roller
Best for Endurance Athletes
Sure, you've used a foam roller...but have you tried a Bluetooth-enabled vibrating roller with five intensities? It's quite a treat, one that's customizable since you can tailor both your warm-up and recovery on it, using the Therabody app. When we had a go, we cranked it up for an intense massage that felt like giving birth through our quadriceps. (But in a good way, promise.)
Buy It ($149)
7. Alo Yoga Vapor Legacy Plaid Bra And High-waist Legging Set
Best for Leggings Collectors
Matchy-matchy is the new normal when it comes to fashionable workout apparel. And the fashion-forward Los Angeles-based brand Alo Yoga reports a surge in customer interest in prints, from this plaid (which can skew Christmasy or New Wave rocker when worn outside of the exercise space) to a vivid black-and-red floral. These drops are limited edition, so snap them up before you miss out.
8. Hilma The Starter Trio
Best for the Supplement Curious
After the past year when everyone's been super-focused on health, natural remedies are really peaking in the health and wellness space. Hilma products are research-backed and formulated by doctors, Ph.Ds and herbalists who combine clinically studied ingredients—nothing woo-woo here—in formulations that are made to combat specific problems. The Starter Trio includes a herbal upset stomach relief supplement, a natural tension-headache capsule and Vitamin C-and-ginger-laced immune boosting powder.
9. Joanna Vargas Ritual Bar & Brush
Best for Dry Skin Sufferers
Just in time for dried-out winter skin, cult facialist Joanna Vargas has created this duo for home: You go over your whole body with a dry swipe of the exfoliating body brush, then jump into the shower for a once-over with the green tea-infused Ritual Bar for the body. The result? Your skin is smoother and plumper.
10. Healthyline Inframat Pro®, Taj Chair 4018 With Photon Led + Pemf
Best for Backache Sufferers
Made by an FDA-registered company that specializes in heated gemstone pads, this mat has a fold in the middle so that it fits on your chair, couch or car seat to passively combat back pain using five natural therapies while you're focused on other things. Embedded with tourmaline, amethyst and jade stones that radiate heat when you plug the mat in, as well as coils that emit the same PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency) therapy that doctors use to stimulate bone growth and lessen pain, this mat is a game-changer for easing chronic discomfort.
11. Ergatta Rower
Best for Head-to-Toe Home Workouts
Handmade from cherry wood in Rhode Island, this rower is an heirloom that you’ll be proud to use and pass down to future generations. A 17.3-inch touchscreen is Bluetooth-enabled so that you can get a reading from your heartrate monitor at the same time as using audio WiFi. The water receptacle satisfyingly sloshes with every stroke, working out 86 percent of muscle groups without thrashing your body, i.e., you’ll appreciate that your knees won’t hurt like when you run. And when you’re done with the rower, it folds up in the same footprint as a barstool.
12. O3 Waterworks Bottle
Best for Deep Cleaning Enthusiasts
You know that clean smell after a lightning storm? That’s the smell of ozone, basically a type of oxygen molecule that’s been purified after being exposed to an electrical charge. A similar cleansing mechanism is used in our municipal water supply and food processing plants...and now your home surfaces thanks to this spray bottle which you fill up with tap water, plug in and wait while the water is zapped in a special chamber with a diamond plate. All kinds of common bacteria and pathogens are killed by the resulting mist—yet it’s safe for your household littles (yes, including pets) to roll right up on.
Buy It ($199; $159)
13. Echelon Smart Connect Bike Ex3
Best for Mini Home Gyms
The continued shutdown of gyms—not to mention how discouraging it is trooping outdoors in the middle of winter, even if the gym was open—means that a buy in the "connected fitness" category, such as a treadmill or a stationery bike, is a smart investment. Especially when you consider that sales of indoor exercise bikes tripled in 2020. The Echelon Smart Connect has all the bells and whistles you want to take your workouts up a notch, from comfort features (padded handlebars help you transition between high-and low-resistance postures with ease) to high-tech elements (the 32-level magnetic fly wheel offers a range of resistance). From newbie to Iron Man contender, this bike will help you conquer those not-so-lofty New Year’s resolutions.
14. Slipstream Cycling Sneaker
Best for Spin Devotees
Whether you’re heading to your own bike in the basement or to an exercise studio, you deserve the right spinning shoes. Opt for a pair of super lightweight, streamlined kicks such as these from Slipstream, with a removable EVA arch support, adjustable hook-and-strap closure and SPD cleat compatibility (just drop your shoes off at your local bike shop and they’ll attach them in a, err, snap).
15. Tuft & Needle Calm Meditation Cushion
Best for Insomniacs
Want to know the sleep solution that's non-pharmacological, but proven by research? It's no more complicated than sitting down and breathing, aka meditation. Ease your back and hip bones with a supportive meditation pillow like this one: Its buckwheat seed castings conform to your preferred seat posture, and the cotton cover pops right off to throw in the washer. There's even a handle for toting it with you to the park., in case you want to take your new Zen attitude out in public.
16. Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily, Whole Food Sourced All In One Greens Supplement Powder
Best for Every Busy Body
In a perfect world, we'd make sure to eat only whole foods, carefully sourced to include the right vitamins and exclude allergens. Instead, we're skipping meals and calling Postmates for delivery. So we're glad to add a scoop of Athletic Greens to water or a smoothie every day to get 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food-sourced ingredients to help support our body’s nutritional needs, ensuring lots of energy, strong immunity, muscle recovery, gut health, digestion, hormonal and neural support and healthy aging. (And while we initially balked at the dear cost, it's actually a help, since it ensures we actually use it).
17. Bala The Power Ring
Best for Workout Equipment Lovers
This hearty 10-pound steel-and-silicone ring is the Linus blanket of next gen workout equipment. You can use it to amp up the squats, core and arm work you’re already doing (for example, our gym rat bestie swears that holding this during side-to-side situps was the only way she really whittled her waist).
18. Girlfriend Collective Unitard
Best for Multi-Temp Workouts
The all-in-one unitard has burst beyond being just the apparel choice tiny dancers at the barre to real women layering up for drinks at the bar. Girlfriend Collective’s version is compressive, so it’s like shapewear you can wear under sweats or a skirt. It’s also the building block for your all-weather running outfit, to top with a t-shirt or a long-sleeve tech shirt before peeling down as your workout progresses. Or, for when the sun hits you on your picnic blanket…whichever level of effort works for you.
Buy It ($88)