Author

Gordon Stein

Browsing

It would be great to find a low cost gym membership. But why just lower the cost? Why not design the perfect gym membership?

Here’s my perfect gym wish list:

  • Low cost membership
  • Zero commute time
  • Fully adjustable workouts – easy to grueling
  • A personal coach who can appear or disappear on command
  • Full control over the music type and volume
  • No deodorant-abstaining members
  • Clean private shower rooms stocked with your favorite soap and shampoo
  • As many towels as you like
  • Beautiful views
  • A chance to learn while working out

In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement! What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

A promising start with Apple Fitness+

Working out at home can deliver on a number of the features above. But working out alone can feel a bit, well, lonely. Enter Apple Fitness+, a low cost subscription app that plays from your iOS or Android device. Set your tablet on the stand of your home spinning bike or treadmill. Or prop it up and watch from your yoga mat. Not bad. In addition, it lets you search for the workout type, duration and even your preferred instructor. And the price is right at just $9.99 monthly or $79.99/year.

There are lots of pros to Apple Fitness+. It offers an instant sense of community and best-in-class instructors in each workout type.  The set design and camera work are first class. And, if you have an Apple Watch, the integration of your fitness data onscreen of your iPhone or iPad is awesome. In other words, well designed and executed.

However,  there are a few cons.  The gym is the same scene each time, and the endless cheerfulness and positivity of the instructors wore on me after a while. As did the constant pushing of the social cause of the month. When I work out, maybe I just want to work out. Happy to support causes at other times. And Apple Fitness+ shares another issue with other fitness apps…who wants to be indoors, watching other people working out indoors?

Wouldn’t it be great to workout outside, while inside?

A workout gets the heart going, blood pumping and dopamine flowing. But the best fitness experiences happen in the great outdoors where the beauty of nature adds its own element. And wouldn’t it be awesome to  enjoy the scenery 24 hours a day, with no safety issues, in any kind of weather?

Even better, what if you could transport yourself to any corner of the globe and take in the scene while running or biking? And teleport there instantly with no airport, lost baggage or long security lines.

Well, I may have found the perfect low cost gym membership.

BitGym is a low cost gym membership but so much more…

You can download the BitGym app for free on the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Once loaded on your device, it offers a number of free tours including: Edinburgh, Paris, Northern Italy or the Alpine Lakes of Tyrol. Turn the guide off or on. The music up, down or off. Watch the action from your phone, tablet, or on your TV screen. In addition, you can pick your equipment: treadmill, bike, eliptical or rowing machine. The scenery is high def and your bike RPM shows on the screen, sensed by your movement in the front camera of your device. As you ride, on-screen speech bubbles add commentary about the history and geography of the region. Your guide tells you how hard to push, the right hand position and whether to be in, or out, of the saddle.

Things really open up with the paid subscription. Good value at $79.99/year. In one week, I explored the Parc de la Ciutadella, Tierra del Fuego and Santorini. Then I headed to Panama to see that part of the world. The scenery flew by and often suspended the laws of physics. For example, my route sometimes weaved through outdoor restaurants, went over water or came shockingly close to other tourists on the trail. Not sure how they shoot some of the footage. Lovely to sweat away in the privacy of my home, with no waiting for a shower at the end. As a bonus, I used as many towels as I wanted (subject to spousal limitations).

Conclusion

Bitgym is a great workout, a beautiful escape and a geography lesson all it one. It even provides an alternate use for those expensive “laundry drying racks” that many of us have in the basement!

Saving on gym memberships is a modest start. If you are looking for ways to free up thousands of dollars of monthly cashflow, check out my book, Cashflow Cookbook. The US Edition and the Canadian Edition are both available on Amazon!

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to get more like this every week in your inbox! No spam, no BS, and we never share your information.

Everyone is looking for a way to save on gas. That’s a big change in the last year.

Back in 2020, in the middle of the Covid calamity, the world appeared to be ending.

Nothing is worse than outliving your money

Outliving your money makes for a sad ending. Your final years spent scraping and saving. A dream retirement deflated to a life of subsistence. A battle of the bills with you on the losing side. Lucky for you a massive retirement industry is there to save you from that fate and get you sailing off into the sunset like the people in the brochure.

But there is another, ghastlier possibility: What if your money outlives you? What if your good health is gone in your sunset years? Or worse, what if YOU are simply, well, gone? All of that carefully nurtured stash and no chance to enjoy it. Your family and friends left with no chance to enjoy YOU. Enjoying good health throughout our lives is possible with some easy health tips, a decent set of genetics and a bit of effort.

Watch the numbers

The first easy health tip is, well, the easiest. A bit of measuring. One of the wonders of our bodies is that they can report to us on how they are doing. If we know what’s going on, we can know what to fix. Some of the health data is right there for us. Maybe that little muffin top hanging over your jeans has a story to tell. Perhaps that t shirt didn’t actually shrink in the dryer. Ugh. And what if there isn’t actually anything wrong with your scale?

A weekly morning weigh in is a good place to start. Same time of day. Just checking in is a great start. On your next doctor’s visit, review all the numbers together. Take home a copy. What is up or down since your last physical? What can you do to improve the results? Get to know your problem areas. Triglycerides running too high? Is your blood glucose starting to creep up?  Find a way to learn about and track your numbers.

For instance, an app like MyChart will show you all of your test results at your fingertips. Even without a medical degree, it is obvious which numbers are labelled NORMAL and which are HIGH or LOW. Learn about the diet and lifestyle changes you can make to get the numbers back on track. Here in the US, you can actually order your own medical tests to track how you are doing in between doctors visits. Companies like Jason Health, will do the typical annual physical tests for under $50 and email you the results in a day or two.

You only get one body and one life. Get involved. Learn what is going on with yours.

Find a passion

We all need a quest. A passion. Something that gets better with time and effort. Maybe its restoring a ’65 Camaro, learning the piano or perfecting your Salsa. In a perfect world, that passion also happens to be your job. Even better if that passion is something that helps others. Study after study shows that helping others increases our happiness.

That passion can also be the thing that reduces your stress and adds meaning to your life. Can you worry about your mortgage payments while you are playing an Eagles tune on the guitar? Didn’t think so! And if that passion really works your brain, it can help stave off dementia.

If you can fill your life with some activity that helps others, something that fuels your spirit like music, art or religion, something that works your body and something that challenges your mind you will set yourself up for a full life. And when the kids are being brats, you still have time with your violin. When things go sour at work, you still have your family. And when you have a disappointing run, there’s still that next chapter in the book you are reading.

Work your body

We were built to move. Exercise is its own reward. The sweat of accomplishment. That awareness of each muscle responding as you move. The 3 miles that went by while you forgot that you were running. And the joy of finding that free hour to see just how hard you can push it.

Sound ridiculous? Those things NEVER happen at the START of a new exercise regime. Truth is, starting to get some exercise is horrible. Everything hurts. You can’t forget that you are exercising for even a second. Trust me, that will all pass. Start slowly and build gradually. Stretch at the end of your workout. If things hurt the next day, give them a day to calm down. More stretching. Then start again gently and work your way up. Stay with it. Log a month or two before you even think about quitting. Let gamification help you. I follow the little rings on my Apple Watch. Am I standing enough? Did I move around today? Where am I on my 35 minutes of exercise? Fitbit, Apple Watch, heart rate monitor. Get something counting to keep you on track and make it fun.

Over time, you will have more energy than you know what to do with. Insomnia? Gone. Your blood numbers start improving. You look better. Your clothes hang nicely. And you’re adding years to your life and life to your years.

Eat what you need

Some people crave a big juicy burger, a steaming hot plate of fries and an ice cold Coke to wash it all down. Let’s call them Group 1. Others are grazing on their tofu and spinach, paired with an impossibly big water. Group 2. What if the two groups are actually the same and they just started down different paths that became habits? What if they switched plates for a day? Disaster. Group 1 would find the natural foods bland and boring. Left with massive cravings for the fat, sugar and salt of their old world. Group 2 could barely eat their new vittles. Way too salty, greasy and sweet.

But give it a bit of time in a forced regime. Rabbity Group 2 would learn to crave the burgers and fries. And Greasy Group 1 would start to enjoy the healthy stuff. The groups aren’t as fixed as you would think. Try eating what your body needs. Like your new exercise regime, start slowly. As an example, one less spoon of sugar in your coffee on the way to drinking it black. Switch to water as the drink to go with your meals. Gradually swap some high fiber cereal for your Count Chocula. (Let me stress gradually on that one.) Order a healthy side with your dinner out. Invest in a session or two with a dietician. Learn to read food labels.

With food, the easy health tip is to try some simple changes and watch how your cravings change over time.

Give it a rest

Sleep is your body’s chance to restore and heal. Your mind sorts and files all of its memories. You muscles relax and repair themselves. Your daily stresses ease away.

To begin, start noting how many hours of sleep you are actually getting. Most adults need 7 hours. If you are getting less, is it an issue of no time to sleep? Or is it that you can’t fall asleep even when you set aside the time?

Here are some easy health tips to get a full night of restful sleep

  • Get some exercise during the day, to tire you out. Nothing knocks you out like a good workout
  • Tackle the issues you are worried about during the day. Resolve the issue with your boss. Get your report written. Apologize to your spouse. Eliminate the things to worry about all night.
  • Start shutting things down a couple of hours before bed. Read a pleasure book or watch some mindless TV. Don’t struggle with a work problem then climb into bed. Your mind will keep working on it after you turn out the light.
  • Invest in a sleep mask if you need to sleep past sunrise. They are magical. Find one that fits your face and doesn’t fall off.
  • Have a warm shower or bath before bed.
  • Turn down the heat before tucking in.

In Conclusion

It’s time to value our bodies and look after them. Health is the most important thing we have and when it ends, so does everything else. The money won’t matter. Take an interest in your health and learn everything you can about it. Here are some closing thoughts:

First, know that each of the easy health tips above affect the other. As an example, a lack of sleep can lead to some food cravings. Not enough exercise can impact your sleep. A poor diet will impact your energy levels and cause you to avoid exercise. Not having a passion will elevate your stress and affect your sleep.

Second, know that our habits hold back progress of all of these areas. We view those habits as fixed. In reality they aren’t. We can all start with small changes and build them slowly into new, healthier habits

Third, we are playing for the biggest stakes of all. Our lives. Both the length of time we have around and the quality of the life itself. Make great choices and enjoy the beautiful lives we are all given.

What easy health tips do you have? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to get more like this every week in your inbox! No spam, no BS, and we never share your information.

Valuations are stretched! 5 great stocks to grab now! A crash is coming! Inflation will eat our returns! Buy and hold! Well which is it? And how can we protect ourselves if things really do go to hell in a hand basket?