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Money is a great motivator, especially when it comes to health.
Consider DietBet, which costs money to join and holds out the promise of a larger cash payout if you succeed in your weight-loss goals.
Now there's another kick in the pants to get healthy: Life-insurance provider John Hancock will sell you an Apple Watch Series 3 for $25 -- but you have to earn it by working out.
It works like this: You join John Hancock's Vitality program, then exercise regularly. The Apple Watch monitors those activities, turning them into Vitality points. As long as you earn at least 500 points per month, there's no additional charge for the watch. After 24 months on the program, you're done: the watch is yours.
What's the catch?
Wait, didn't I already explain the catch? You have to exercise almost daily, though it's not immediately clear how the point system works. Is it one exercise minute equals one Vitality point?
But, no, daily activity is not a catch -- it's a benefit. The actual catch is that in order to join the Vitality program, you need a John Hancock insurance policy.
Interestingly, the company's Apple Watch program has been around since 2015, but it was only for permanent-life policyholders. Now you can get it with a term-life policy as well -- and those start at around $15 per month, depending on various factors like age and amount of coverage.
So assuming a $15 per month plan, you'll pay $360 over the course of two years -- plus the $25 initial payment. In other words, what you're doing here is financing the watch, but with two substantial perks: better health and a life-insurance policy.
Any other considerations?
If you're wondering whether this really works, John Hancock reports that roughly half of the current program participants are paying $0 per month for their watch.
What's more, the Vitality program offers other benefits, including savings on healthy food purchases (up to $600 annually) and discounts on wellness purchases from companies such as Amazon, Hyatt and REI.
However, the Apple Watch Series 3 provided in this arrangement is, unsurprisingly, the entry-level model; if you want cellular or an upgraded band or case, upgrade fees apply. For whatever reason, the program is not available to residents of New York.
You'll have to wait till next month to sign up. From the John Hancock site: "Prospective participants can get more information about the program directly at JHRewardsLife.com or by connecting with a financial advisor."
I think this is damn cool. I love health-oriented incentives like this, because everybody wins. I'm not saying it's worth buying into a John Hancock life-insurance policy just to get a $25 Apple Watch, but if you haven't yet found the kick in the pants you need to adopt a healthier lifestyle... maybe it's worth a look?
Bonus deal: Game time! The Humble Day of the Devs Bundle (so named for the annual San Francisco festival that brings together gamers and developers) nets you eight games and a VIP festival ticket if you pay at least $9. Regular price for just the games: $131.
As usual, there are different tiers, but I say pony up the $9. That'll score you three games I know to be excellent: Grim Fandango Remastered, Day of the Tentacle Remastered and Full Throttle Remastered. (The others all have ratings ranging from "positive" to "very positive.")
Many of the games are available for Mac and Linux in addition to Windows. Some are DRM-free; all can be redeemed on Steam. You also get the truly excellent Grim Fandango soundtrack.
Best of all, a portion of the proceeds go to charity.