Rewards are a key part of the fitness journey. They motivate us and can make a tough workout feel worthwhile. After all, the body releases endorphins as we exercise. So Mother Nature knows that rewards are important.
A lot of the time, the reward is hitting a PB or seeing the progress you’ve made. But if you need a push to get started on a new fitness plan, or you need to reach up out of a plateau, shaking up your rewards can do wonders.
Many people view foods as their go-to reward of choice. A sweet treat, a couple of beers or a full-blown “cheat day” are all popular ways to give yourself a pat on the back. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. But if you need extra discipline to hit your targets, you may find a food-based reward is counter-productive.
So, to help you reach your goals AND reap extra rewards, here are our top calorie-free treats…
Treat Yourself To New Gym Clothes
This can be especially rewarding if you have gone up/or down a size thanks to your hard work. Choose something nice that makes you feel and look good. Every time you’re checking your form in the mirror, you’ll get a buzz knowing you earned that great new kit.
You don’t have to splash out on something expensive if you aren’t feeling very flush. Something cheap and cheerful will also give you those repeat pangs of satisfaction whenever you wear it.
Cash For Workouts
If you’ve had your eye on something that’s a little over your price range – say a pair of trainers or a new phone – put money toward it each time you workout. It’s motivation to save AND get to the gym, so you are rewarding yourself for both. Just a little at a time soon builds up in both regimes. If you have a tendency to cheat, put a friend or family member in charge of the piggy bank.
Whether it’s getting a new haircut, a pedicure or a massage, a little pampering can go a long way. When your muscles are aching on your last set of reps, you can imagine the little luxuries waiting for you to help you power through.
If money is tight, you can always reward yourself with a nice long bath. Light candles, play relaxing music, the works.
Try Out New Games
Whether it’s a free app game on your phone, a video game or a board game with friends, games are a really good way to switch off. You can channel any competitive energy and lose yourself to something simple for a while. It can be a refreshing reward to do something just for the sake of fun.
Do a Fun Workout
Okay, so rewarding a workout with a workout may not seem like a treat. But I’m talking about trying something fun, unrelated to your plan and goals. Perhaps there’s a new novelty class at your gym you’re curious about. Or you could go for a scenic leisurely jog with a friend. This workout is not about burning calories or reaching PB’s. It’s just getting the endorphins going and having a good time.