We all know that, no matter how magical and enjoyable the festive season is, it can also be a time for stress and overindulgence. Getting last minute gifts, going food shopping in the early hours of the morning and eating all of the treats that the season allows can eventually take its toll. 

Well I have some good news. I have recently discovered something that would not only make an excellent gift for someone, but help them to broaden their knowledge and stay in shape this Christmas too.

And, if you’ve ever read any of my articles, then you know I’m a true believer in the old adage, ‘the more you learn, the more you earn.’

Blinkist is a new app that summarises over 1,000 non-fictional and educational books and puts them into audio and written format. Available instantly on iOS, Android and the web, it would also make a great present if you’ve left all of your Christmas shopping until the last minute – like me.

Each book is chunked into 12 ‘blinks’ of between one and two minutes each and lasts, in total, 15 minutes (less time if you increase the audio playback speed to 1.25x or 1.5x – note that 1.25x is still understandable but 1.5x is a little too quick for comprehension I find)!

So how can Blinkist improve your mind and body at the same time? Well, whilst at the gym or exercising each morning, you can listen to two books in under 30 minutes! I have found the following seven benefits of doing this:

1. Working out is more motivating as you are improving your mind and your body at the same time.

2. It quickly allows you to learn the key principles from lots of books quickly.

3. Those books that have real value and interest to you can be bought in full and listened to via Audible, Kindle, etc and read in depth.

4. You save time by not reading books that don’t really pack a punch or have anything new to say.

5. You pick up new ideas you can use that day, especially if you commit to actioning something you learn that same day.

6. You can rewind blinks that are of real value and really spend time studying the messages.

7. Autobiographies can be digested really quickly, so you get the essence of people like Elon Musk and Richard Branson as opposed to having to listen to or read several hundred pages about people’s past history, much of which is irrelevant to you.

The best news is that Blinkist is running a Christmas offer at the moment – you can buy one subscription and get one free!

I hope you get as much value from it as I do.

View more articles by Steve Bolton