Tom’s Guide Awards 2023: Our favorite fitness and health products for an active life

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: Woman stretching on a Peloton Tread during workout
(Image credit: Peloton)

Many people prioritize health and fitness in their day-to-day experiences. But this year in particular, plenty of excellent devices, products and services helped make living active lifestyles even better.  

From top-rated workout machines to our running shoes and fitness-tracking smartwatches, there’s more ways than ever to tap into your personal health journey. Even traveling by electric bike or electric scooter promotes the type of activity that makes life more fun. 

Our team of experts know health isn’t one-size-fits-all, so all the best health and fitness products of the year cater to a wide variety of goals and needs. See all the top wearables, exercise machines, workout services and gear we tested this year below. And check out all the winners of the Tom's Guide Awards 2023.

Best smartwatch

Best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 8

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(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best smartwatch of the year. It might not be a major upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 7 in terms of features, but it has the same great design and larger screen. An added skin temperature sensor can inform cycle and fertility tracking, while a new low power mode extends the latest Apple Watch's battery life to 36 hours. What's more, the Apple Watch Series 8 has a crash detection feature thanks to improved motion sensors for instant help when you might need it most. Whether you want a smartwatch for working out, answering calls from your wrist, or using third-party apps, this is the top smartwatch you can get now.

Best Android smartwatch

Best Android smartwatch: Galaxy Watch 5

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This year saw the launch of several Android smartwatches powered by Wear OS, but our favorite overall is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. As the best smartwatch for Android, the latest-gen Galaxy Watch has a new skin-temperature reader, more scratch-resistant display and a longer-lasting battery life. These changes make what was already a great device all that much better. Wear OS 3 with Samsung's skin has more perks, too, including Google Assistant and better interoperability with your other Samsung devices. All of this, starting at just $279, makes the Galaxy Watch 5 an excellent value. If you own a Samsung smartphone, it’s the ultimate accessory for you.

Best fitness tracker

Best fitness tracker: Fitbit Sense 2

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The Fitbit Sense 2 is an advanced fitness-tracking smartwatch that helps monitor your mood with continuous EDA readings. The sensor monitors stress levels or heightened responses throughout the day, prompting the user to take action on mood monitoring with Body Response notifications. It also has a skin temperature reader on board, and tracks your sleep, as well as your heart rhythm notification through the ECG app, allowing you to spot possible signs of atrial fibrillation. If you’re looking for the best fitness tracker that feels like a smartwatch, this is our top choice. 

Best running watch

Best running watch: Garmin Forerunner 265

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The Garmin Forerunner 265 scooped the top spot as the best running watch in our Tom’s Guide award thanks to its bright, beautiful AMOLED screen, and advanced training metrics. The watch impressed us with it’s lightweight, easy-to-use design, it’s 15 day battery life, and it’s Training Readiness Score. The watch has a lot of the features usually reserved for more expensive watches in the Garmin line, and comes in two different sizes — Forerunner 265 has a 1.3-inch display, and the Forerunner 265S has a 1.1-inch display. This is a great little watch to have on your wrist, whatever you’re training for. 

Best electric scooter

Best electric scooter: NIU Kqi 3 Max

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The NIU Kqi 3 Max is the best electric scooter because it has it all: A powerful motor (900W peak), great range (up to 40 miles), and stylish looks. It carried us everywhere we wanted to go — hills are no problem — and its massive headlight, 9.5-inch pneumatic tires and dual disc brakes looked after our safety. The scooter's app also lets you customize your ride, and even remotely lock and unlock it. Ultimately, this scooter was as fun to look at as it was to ride. That's preciesly why it won a Tom's Guide Award for 2023.

Best electric bike

Best electric bike: RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus

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The RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus is a near-perfect electric bike that can do it all. Its versatile design can be customized with a wide assortment of seats, bags and baskets so you can adapt it to fit your exact needs, whether that's bringing your kids to school, making trips to the grocery store, or both. And, its powerful motor, low center of gravity and large tires and suspension fork makes all those trips extremely comfortable, too. Our reviewer liked this bike so much that he ended up buying one for himself. If that's not an endorsement, then what is? The RadPower RadRunner 3 Plus is easily the best electric bike we reviewed this year.

Best running shoes

Best running shoes: Nike Pegasus 40

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For a shoe to win the title of ‘best running shoe’ from our experts, it has to be versatile, durable, and comfortable. The Nike Pegasus 40 ticks these boxes. It was a close call between this and the Nike Invincible Run 3, which is also a brilliant everyday shoe. But when it comes down to it, the Pegasus proved more versatile during testing. It's got a good amount of React foam in the midsole for a lightweight, snappy feel underfoot, without being overly springy and leaving you feeling unstable on the run. The Pegasus is a workhorse — you can wear it for a marathon,  your first 5K, and pretty much everything in between. 

Best yoga mat

Best yoga mat: Yogi Bare Paws Extreme Grip yoga mat

Tom's Guide Awards 2023: Yogi Bare Paws Extreme Grip yoga matTom's Guide Awards 2023:

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The Yogi Bare Paws Extreme Grip yoga mat is the best yoga mat you can get now. Our in-house PT loves this yoga mat so much, she now teaches all her classes on it. How’s that for approval? The natural, eco-friendly and rubber design scores high for environmental credentials, and offers an excellent grip perfect for fitness classes from HIIT to hot yoga. The yogi-approved mat wins best hot yoga mat hands down, too. Design features include alignment cues to keep paws properly planted during classes, and thickness without compromising on great floor contact, which means you can bed down for a stretching session without losing balance during inversions.

Best workout app

Best workout app: Runna

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(Image credit: Runna)

Runna stormed its way to the top of the best running apps thanks to its personalized running plans. Whether you’re training for your fastest 5K, or your first marathon, there’s something for everyone on this app. The app itself is easy to use and extremely motivating, with the sessions clearly marked each week along with helpful pointers from coaches Ben Parker and Steph Davies. There’s the option to switch between kilometers, miles, and treadmill paces at a glance, to change your goal at any point, and add strength training to the plan at the click of a button. Plus, the plan can sync to your watch seamlessly — all you need to remember to do is the sessions themselves. Our fitness editor used Runna for her latest marathon, and crossed the line with a 14-minute PR. 

Best treadmill

Best treadmill: Peloton Tread

Photo of a woman running on the Peloton TreadTom's Guide Awards 2023:

(Image credit: Peloton)

When it comes to the best home gym equipment, Peloton still delivers one of the top connected home workout experiences and after miles of testing, the Peloton Tread is still worthy of the top spot. The Tread is expertly designed, with a neat footprint and handy speed and incline wheels on the arms. We were impressed with how easily it fit into our living room while testing, and how nice it is to run on. On top of that, the magic of Peloton lies in its classes, and there are hundreds of live or on-demand workouts to choose from. There’s no question about it — it’s an expensive investment, but if you use the treadmill regularly, we’d argue that it’s still cheaper than most gym memberships.

Best exercise bike

Best exercise bike: Wattbike Atom

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We won’t sugar-coat it: the second-generation Wattbike Atom is an expensive piece of equipment, but it’s one of the best exercise bikes around if you’re looking to up your training. Designed for elite athletes, this is like having an Equinox gym in your living room. It’ll track your performance, power, and technique with every pedal stroke, and we were blown away by how realistic the riding experience was. Unlike Peloton, there’s no built-in screen or additional ongoing cost, so you can use the app of your choice on the bike. We used Zwift to race friends, and Apple Fitness Plus on days we wanted to spin to Taylor Swift. 

Tom's Guide Staff

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