How to work out harder but cheaper in 2023

After hearing that I was trekking the Inca Trail in Peru, an acquaintance excitedly suggested I invest in the awesome bottled, portable oxygen mask that “all athletes use.” I, of course, laughed at the idea. While making a four-day trek to Machu Picchu is no easy feat for a sea-level dweller like myself, it’s not exactly Mount Everest, more than 4,000 meters higher than the highest point on the Peruvian trail. The extra oxygen would have been a bit excessive, especially since I don’t have any respiratory issues.

However, his reaction is not uncommon. Not because not much is really known about hiking but because there is this perception these days that buying the latest fitness equipment and gadgets will somehow help us build those muscles easier, lose those extra pounds faster, or learn a new skill better. To further prove my point, he later announced that he was going to learn to ride a motorcycle and that he would start out by buying a boatload of accessories he claimed he “needed” for lessons.

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