Getting into a new workout routine has incredible benefits for your health. Of course, there is the added benefit that over time, it can help people lose unwanted pounds or look more chiseled. Working out can be hard, but getting rewarded for doing it is essential. The reward should be something physical and tangible that you can see.
When you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated, it’s easy to think of an excuse not to work out. But being able to look ahead toward goals and milestones that you reward in specific ways can be an encouraging way to overcome the hard days. Here are some ways to reward yourself for working out.
Don’t Use Food
Avoid food and treat-related rewards. Use your imagination when rewarding yourself, but don’t rely on food or treats to do it. Food and treats are fine to include in your lifestyle, but rewarding yourself with food can become a mental or emotional slippery slope. Food is essential for survival. Instead, think about what else you would like as a reward besides food—a DVD set? A manicure? A movie night out with friends? These kinds of rewards are not only healthier, they are also more effective long-term.
Find the Reward That Works for You
Some people love new clothes, accessories, certain brands, and even going on trips. Finding rewards that work for you can make or break your commitment to your fitness plans. The best option for most people is a tool that helps them track their workouts and keep track of small victories. This can be an app, a piece of paper, or even just writing it down in the comments section of your daily workout log. Whatever method gets you excited about working out.
Don’t Reward Yourself for Every Single Workout
You should not reward yourself for every single workout. It’s easy to think that all workouts are worthy of a reward, but in reality, they aren’t. You shouldn’t reward yourself for something you should do anyway; this could lead to having a negative mindset about future workouts. Reward yourself instead for reaching goals and milestones as you work out.
There are usually reasons why people want to go to the gym. When you reach a milestone like 10 lbs. lost, or 20 visits to the gym in a month, or even improving your strength, those are the times when you should set rewards. Plan your goals and rewards in advance and create a plan to reach them using your workouts to help you get there.
Forgive Yourself if You Miss a Workout
If you miss a workout, try not to beat yourself up about it. Instead, remember that no one is perfect and everyone has setbacks now and then. If you’re feeling upset with yourself, think about what could have caused your missed workout.
Was your schedule too busy or was there something going on in your life that made it hard for you to get to the gym or do yoga? Perhaps it was something related to your exercise routine, like maybe you didn’t have time for foam rolling or stretching before getting on the treadmill again. Maybe you had a rough night’s sleep and didn’t feel up to pushing it at the gym. Rest is okay, just make sure you aren’t using it as an excuse to skip workouts all the time.
Use Reward Apps and Programs
There are countless apps and programs that will reward you for working out. Sign up for an exercise rewards app to get points and other incentives when you work out. Typically, these apps are linked to smart devices and rely on biometric data to track and monitor your progress. This helps because you don’t even need to think about entering the information or missing a day as long as your smartwatch or phone is connected.
Plan Rewards That Give You More Energy
You may be tempted to reward yourself with food or drink, but that’s not the best option. Instead, plan rewards that give you more energy to keep going. For example, if you exercise in the morning before work, reward yourself with a relaxing bath after exercising. Or if you exercise at night before bedtime, reward yourself with an energizing shower or spa treatment. You could even give yourself a massage chair to use after workouts that are extra strenuous.