Positive reinforcement is one great way to facilitate behavior change. For example, children get stickers on a chart for helping with household chores. It helps them learn while earning. Animal behavior is often shaped by treats, toys, or attention. Adult brains can be trained too; Rewards for exercising regularly enhance motivation and enjoyment. Here are seven ideas for rewarding regular exercise.
1. Dress it upMake exercise special with tools that are useful and fun to use. Perhaps something simple like a water bottle, headband, towel, or outfit.
2. Download a Music Playlist or AlbumNothing like some good tunes to keep your body moving! Music moves the body and helps keep the pace. Consider purchasing a subscription to Spotify, Apple Music, or something of the sort.
3. Fitness TrackerA pedometer or smart watch might be just the investment you need to stay on schedule with your training. These devices monitor your activity and can even remind you to do things. These numbers motivate people to keep moving every day. While they can be pricey, they can be worth it.
4. Fitness EventEncourage registering for a charity walk, 5K run, obstacle course, or local fitness challenge. A race gives you a goal to work towards and increases your motivation. It is exciting to be a part of something larger than your personal fitness goals and to be surrounded by other positive people.
5. Massage Soreness AwayConsider massage therapy. It has proven benefits, including better circulation, increased flexibility, and stress reduction. Massages relax the mind and body; it’s a healthy way to reinforce regular exercise!
6. Group Exercise ClassSocializing and sweating with others is highly motivating for some people. It’s like a team effort when others are working hard together. Everyone feeds motivation off each other, and it’s invigorating. Being around like-minded people makes the investment reach beyond the class setting.
7. Personal CoachIt never hurts to remind people that there are paid professionals there to help you. Personal trainers, nutritionists, and health coaches keep them on track and make the effort worth it. Scheduling an appointment and someone giving you undivided attention is priceless for many people.
8. Travel If your budget allows it, consider working towards something big. A trip that involves exercise, such as a cycling tour, hiking trip, scuba-diving adventure, or yoga retreat, is great for pleasure and reward. They can be relaxing and unwinding.