Everyone wants to stay fit and healthy, but sometimes the gadgets and devices marketed to help you achieve your goals can cost a pretty penny. From smartwatches that track your every move to high-tech fitness equipment that promises to revolutionize your workouts because it’s connected to the internet, it’s easy to get swept up in the latest wellness trends and overspend on fancy gear.
But what if you didn’t have to break the bank to get the benefits of trending products? Let’s explore some cheaper alternatives to expensive wellness gadgets that can be just as effective.
1. Smart Yoga Mats
There are several types of smart gadgets you can use to upgrade your yoga practice, one of which is a smart yoga mat. For example, the Yogifi Smart Yoga Mat is designed to enhance your practice with features like guided workouts available in companion apps and real-time posture correction. However, because it’s available through a monthly subscription ($50 sign-up fee and then $15/month), the price can quickly exceed the cost of “dumber” alternatives.
It’s possible to get most of the benefits yoga offers by opting for a traditional yoga mat and following one of the free workouts available on dedicated apps or through YouTube. By opting for an analog yoga mat, you’ll be able to use your extra cash to invest in some comfortable yoga clothing or a few high-quality yoga blocks.
While smart yoga mats may offer some additional features, they aren’t going to magically transform you into an elastic yogi so may not be worth the added cost. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to find a yoga mat that makes you want to practice.
Consider a yoga mat that’s thick enough to provide cushioning for your hands and feet, has a non-slip surface to prevent slipping, and is made from eco-friendly materials. Then, download a free app like Yoga Studio that will provide guidance and information on how to master each pose and get the most out of your yoga session.
2. Sleep-Inducing Headbands
If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, you’ll probably do almost anything to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep. You may also have seen sleep-inducing gadgets such as the iBand+ or the SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband.
These gadgets claim to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer by doing all kinds of fancy things like monitoring your brain waves and using audio cues to guide you into deeper levels of sleep. However, the examples mentioned above sell for around $400, and there are other gadgets that you might want to experiment with before making such an investment.
A cheaper alternative might be to use a smart wake-up light like the Amazon Halo Rise, which is less than half that price. The device’s smart alarm monitors your sleep stages throughout the night and will wake you during your lightest sleep cycle when it’ll be easiest to get up.
It’s also not something that you have to wear around your face or head. I mean, c’mon, who would find it easy to sleep with a device strapped to their head?
While sleep-inducing headbands like the iBand+ and SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband may be helpful for some, they’re not guaranteed to do anything. For this reason, it would probably make the most sense to invest in one of these only after you have established a regular sleep routine: exercising during the day, winding down without screens before bed, and creating a dark, cool space dedicated to nothing but sleep.
3. Smart Water Bottles
Have you heard of smart water bottles? Unlike regular water bottles, gadgets like the HidrateSpark PRO are equipped with sensors that track your water intake. With built-in LEDs, they can also remind you to drink more water throughout the day and even sync with companion apps on your smartphone to provide personalized hydration recommendations.
The claimed benefits of smart water bottles are simple: improved hydration. Of course, the upshots of improved hydration include better skin, enhanced mood, increased energy levels, and more. But do you need a smart water bottle?
While smart water bottles may help some people stay hydrated, they are not a magic solution for dehydration. At the end of the day, the best way to stay hydrated is simply to drink enough water. And there are plenty of ways to do just that without spending $80:
- Set reminders on your phone.
- Track your water intake using a Post-It note stuck to your computer monitor.
- Refill your bottle at the end of every 25-minute pomodoro focus session.
- Use a water-tracking app, such as Waterllama.
4. Air Purifiers
Some high-priced air purifiers use advanced technology to filter out even the tiniest pollutants and improve air quality. Meanwhile, smart air purifiers, like the $650 Coway Airmega 400s, connect to Wi-Fi and send notifications to your smartphone when air quality dips.
However, for most people, cheaper options can be just as effective at improving air quality. There are many things to consider before buying an air purifier, but all you need is something with a HEPA filter, like the $270 Honeywell HPA300. HEPA filters capture pollutants, dust, pollen, and mold spores. Many brands and models in this price range also include activated carbon filters, which can help remove odors and chemical pollutants from the air.
If you’re a DIY’er, you can also build your own for under $100. And if you want to go cheaper still, try improving the ventilation of wherever you live or work before buying anything. By simply opening windows and doors and using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, you can remove most allergens and pollutants from your home.
Save Money and Stay Healthy
Expensive wellness gadgets are not the only way to improve your health and well-being. Cheaper alternatives like setting reminders on your phone, combining regular yoga mats with free YouTube videos, staying true to a solid sleep routine, and choosing a HEPA-enabled air purifier can be just as effective in helping you achieve your goals without draining your wallet.
While these high-tech gadgets may offer some added benefits, it’s important to remember that there’s no technological shortcut to health and well-being. So next time you see an advertisement for a tech’d up piece of hardware designed to help you live a healthier, happier life, ask yourself if the device is truly innovative, or if it’s merely a gimmicky way to part you from your hard-earned cash.