How to work out harder but cheaper in 2023

After hearing that I was doing the Inca Trail hike in Peru, a male acquaintance enthusiastically suggested that I invest in this cool portable bottled oxygen mask that “all the athletes are using.” I, of course, laughed at the idea. While doing the four-day trek to Machu Picchu isn’t easy for sea-level dwellers like me, it isn’t exactly the Everest summit, which is more than 4,000 meters higher than the Peruvian trail’s highest point. Supplemental oxygen would have been a little excessive, especially since I do not have any respiratory issues.

His reaction isn’t uncommon, however. Not because he doesn’t really know much about hiking but because there’s this perception these days that buying the latest fitness equipment and gadgets will somehow help us build those muscles easier, lose that extra weight faster, or learn a new skill better. Proving my point further, he announced later that he was going to learn to ride the motorcycle and was going to start by buying a boatload of accessories that he claimed he “needed” for lessons.

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