Written By Shiela Dela Cruz

The most successful exercise programs are built on creating a habit of working out. Working out becomes second nature, a thing you are more likely to do than a skip. If you want to become more motivated to complete your workouts and to stick to your workout plan, creating a reward system is important, especially at the beginning. Every workout should be challenging to some degree, but some days, your workout might feel particularly tough. Maybe you’ve endured a challenging Bootcamp class, ran an extra 2 miles, tried a cycle class for the first time, or added a few more plates than usual to the squat rack. Whatever it is, knowing that you have something special waiting for you at the end of these more intense sessions could give you that extra spark of motivation to push through. Immediate reward systems help to make your workout a more gratifying experience. Here are five ways to reward yourself after a tough workout:


Ideally, you should be drinking plenty of water before, during, and after every workout but you can sometimes treat yourself to a little more exciting than water, you can try to fill a mason jar about halfway with any combination of berries, apple, fresh mint, and citrus fruit, then fill the jar with equal parts water and seltzer. You may add a splash of apple, grape, or orange juice as well. You can now enjoy your low calorie, super refreshing, and delicious drinks after your next tough workout.


Who doesn’t love a nice nap? It is always feeling good to permit yourself to take a snooze on those days you have a tough workout. Your body will thank you for the additional recovery time. Just be sure to take a nap for an hour maximum so it doesn’t interfere with your nighttime sleep.


Make yourself a delicious low-calorie smoothie with low-fat milk or dairy alternative, half a banana, some berries, and a teaspoon of natural peanut butter. You can even throw a dash of cinnamon, few ice cubes, and blend the whole thing up. It will provide the carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat your body needs to recover right after a workout. Just ensure to avoid store-bought smoothies that can be laden with sugar and calories.


One of the best ways to pamper your muscles after pushing your limits to the gym is to soak in a warm tub. You may add bath salts or essential oils to the water to make a bit more spa-like experience. Light some candles, and put on some soft music. It’s like a mini-vacation. Plus, it’ll help bring blood flow to your tired muscles, which helps with recovery.


If you’re doing resistance training to knead out any stress, you can treat yourself to an occasional post-workout massage. Massages improve circulation and help to get rid of waste products that can accumulate when muscles are overworked.

There are plenty of ways to reward yourself. Creating rewards for working out is a powerful tool in creating internal motivation for working out. Choose the reward that is meaningful to you and integrate it into every workout for the best success in sticking to your powerful new habits! Eventually, you will have so much fun exploring new possibilities that you will find that the sacrifices you make to lose weight are a blessing in disguise.