15 Useless Health and Fitness Gadgets That Are a Complete Waste of Money

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Research your options before wasting your money on health and fitness equipment.
Updated Feb. 21, 2024
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senior couple in workout clothes running for fitness in park during day time surrounded with trees and greenery

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You may be preparing for your New Year’s resolution to get healthier or perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to adopt healthier habits.

These could be good changes to your lifestyle, but they can also be expensive if you go overboard spending money on gadgets when you’re struggling financially.

Check out these options so you know what to avoid and save money shopping before you take on a new healthy challenge.

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Hydration monitor

Courtesy of Hdrop hydration monitor on white background

There are gadgets you can wear similar to an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other fitness band that only has one task: to monitor your hydration.

Perhaps it’s good for specialized athletes who need to make sure they’re well-hydrated regularly, but you can probably skip this gadget.

Instead, consider using a water bottle and monitor how many ounces of water you drink each day.

Thigh trainers

Courtesy of Amazon thigh trainers equipment

Thigh Masters still exist, encouraging users to squeeze contraptions to build up thigh muscles or arm muscles.

But they may not be as popular as they once were due to the lack of actual success after using them over and over again while watching television.

Skip the thigh trainers and try other options like squats, leg lifts, and other leg exercises that can do the same job for less money.

Leg toning and strengthening machine

Courtesy of Amazon leg toning and strengthening machine

Several types of leg toning and strengthening machines offer low-impact exercises while also working on your leg muscles.

These could be great machines if you’re older or can’t have much impact on your legs due to medical issues. But they probably won’t help you if you try to use them each day for some extra exercise.

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Sauna suit

Courtesy of Sauna Suit silver and black sauna suits

Sauna suits can be a great addition to your workout if you want to wear something that looks like a tracksuit made out of plastic trash bags to lose weight.

Sauna suits are good options if you need to sweat out a little water, but they won’t get you on the road to significant weight loss for an extended period.

Fitness apps

Courtesy of Adobe Stock woman using fitness app at gym

There are plenty of fitness apps available but some are better than others. Check out different fitness apps that you would like to try to help you stay on your health and fitness target.

Some apps could be perfect for your needs while others are just a waste of money. Think about what you need from an app compared to using a fitness app that may already be included on your smartphone. 

Also, consider free goal apps instead of paying for expensive alternatives that may do the same thing.

Amazon Halo Band

Courtesy of Amazon amazon halo band with smartphone

The Amazon Halo Band was such a waste of money that earlier this year, the company announced it would be discontinuing the program.

The Halo Band, which was similar to a Fitbit or Apple Watch but without a screen, was supposed to measure health data as well as your body fat and voice to analyze your emotional state throughout the day.

It could tell you when you were stressed or happy, for example. Or perhaps you didn’t need a gadget for that.

Shake weight

Courtesy of Amazon Shake weight dumbbell pack

You’ve probably seen a Shake Weight before and thought it looked a bit ridiculous to simply stand there with a vibrating weight that’s supposed to work out your muscles.

You may be right that it looks ridiculous, but it also probably won’t do much for you in terms of muscle gain. So do what Taylor Swift suggests and shake it off. You can find something better that isn’t such a waste of your money.

Neck tape

Courtesy of Nexsey woman applying neck tape

Forget going to a plastic surgeon when you can allegedly look healthy and vibrant again with some tape to pull your skin back.

It may sound a little far-fetched, but there is neck tape that can supposedly give you a youthful and healthy glow with some skin pulling here or there.

You could also skip it and find other options or go with a cleansing facial instead.

Waist trainer

Courtesy of Amazon woman tightening waist trainer

You can supposedly train your waist to be slimmer with waist trainers, but you may want to double-check those claims before you buy one.

Don’t be fooled by waist trainers in bright colors that won’t do much to help you lose extra belly fat or sweat off your water weight just in your abdomen.

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Abdominal stimulator

Courtesy of Amazon abdominal stimulator over clients

Abdominal stimulators allow you to stimulate your ab muscles with a device that works while you’re sitting around with it on. You don’t need to do anything else.

But it probably seems too good to be true for a reason and you may want to stay away instead of wasting your time and money on something that won’t get you that six-pack without work.

Abdominal trainer

Courtesy of Amazon abdominal trainer on white background

Another piece of equipment for your stomach area is an abdominal trainer, which can be a good option if you’re not good at crunches, sit-ups, or other ab workouts.

But ab trainers could also end up being equipment you use to store drying laundry as most of the options that an ab trainer can help you with are the same options you can do on your own.

Oxygen deprivation masks

Courtesy of Amazon oxygen deprivation masks

Simulate high-altitude training with an oxygen deprivation mask that can supposedly build your lung capacity.

It can be a good option if you don’t live at a high altitude but plan to compete in a high-altitude area. Otherwise, it might just make you look like a comic book villain without much benefit.

Pore vacuums

Courtesy of Amazon Pore vacuum pack with sockets

Get your face healthy after a long workout by vacuuming up your pores for a healthy glow.

You could also just take some time to go to a spa if your skin needs a deep cleanse. Or a washcloth and face cleanser can do the job pretty well for an everyday clean.

Jaw strengthener

Courtesy ofJawzrsize 2-pack jaw strengthener

Give your jaw a good workout with a jaw strengthener that builds up your muscles and sagging skin to make you look younger and healthier.

But be aware that the aging process can’t be reversed with a little workout on your jaw, and you may have to give in to a little bit of sag rather than wasting money on a face workout.

Bluetooth toothbrush

Courtesy of Amazon bluetooth toothbrush on white background

Bluetooth capabilities have been added to all kinds of gadgets, some may not need it like your washing machine or refrigerator. A smaller gadget that may have a similar issue is your toothbrush. 

Tooth health can be important to your overall health, but you can probably stick with a toothbrush that doesn’t track your specific brushing habits each day. You’ll also keep more money in your bank account.

Bottom line

M Einero/peopleimages.com/Adobe african american man working out at park

Some gadgets can help you stay healthy, but sometimes the best gadgets are tried-and-true options like weights or a food scale to help you watch your eating.

You should also think about the ding your wallet will take as you spend money on trendy gadgets instead of saving cash for a down payment on a home, a big vacation, or retiring early. Every dollar can add up.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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