small wins can help you stay on track, research has shown. By dividing one large goal into various smaller ones, each step becomes an achievement.
However, it’s easy to go overboard with rewards that can undermine our goals. Let’s face it, we all want to give into our junk food cravings, and what better a time to indulge than after you’ve just accomplished something healthy? You don’t have to cut out junk food entirely, but knowing how to reward yourself in a way that aligns with your health goals can completely change your approach.
sugary or salty cravings, consider celebrating with these healthy rewards instead.
improve cognitive performance in some cases. So by giving in to sleep, you may actually be benefiting your work life. Allowing yourself to feel refreshed and energized after a workout aligns with health-related goals, unlike giving into sugary or fatty foods.
Buy a piece of workout gear
Have you been eyeing a certain pair of workout leggings? How about a new workout-style fanny pack? Set an attainable goal for yourself and preselect an affordable piece of gear, and once you reach your target, hit the internet to shop.
Having that new item on your mind while working out may help you stay motivated longer.
Looking good for your next workout also can help you feel better about yourself as you work toward your ultimate goal. Knowing that you’ve earned that piece of clothing or equipment that you’re using will only help you strive for more, taking you one step closer to your next milestone. This reward is a win-win.
Light a candle and read a book
Lighting a candle is a simple act, yet it can be super relaxing and rewarding. After a long day of work and exercise, letting yourself simply sit down with a book and a candle by your side could be just what you need to unwind.
“Me time” usually isn’t prioritized, but it’s a great way to reenergize our minds and bodies.
Give yourself a free pass to say no
Put yourself first. Is there a chore, errand or social engagement that you’ve been dreading? Allow yourself to say no if you’re truly not feeling up to it. So many of us end up giving into plans due to guilt rather than actual desire. Instead, commit to using this time to exercise.
Get some bath salts and relax
What better way to reward a healthy accomplishment than with a relaxing bath?
studies have suggested. Physical activity produces those feel-good chemicals in our brains called endorphins that in turn could help you develop a positive mindset. Regular workouts strengthen that mind-body connection. So by promoting one, it’s likely that you’re promoting the other.
Mental health rewards can motivate you to get in a workout because you’ll be able to relax afterward — which is well needed after a strenuous workout. Rest is essential in helping your body recover from strength training and cardiovascular exercises and can even help future performance.
Incorporating these five rewards can help you ease away from a food-based reward system. Allowing yourself to indulge in too many processed foods can hurt your progress, leaving you more unmotivated than before.
Instead, celebrate your wins with rewards that help strengthen your mind, body or both.