The best part of a workout is the reward you get from it. No i'm not talking about the long term one, i mean the short term one! Yes Ladies and Gentleman I'm talking about the post-workout me (or you) time.
If you have done it right you have just completed a sustained period of time where your body is put through some tough times and some painful moments. Your mental strength has been tested and whether you have won or not you know you have made progress on the mental and physical front. Your body is done for the day and the process of gearing yourself up for tomorrow has started.
After every work-out comes the chill-out. Every action must come with a reaction, and the reaction to a workout is to relax.
Now this is something that takes many forms principly by how much time you have between the workout and your next appointment in the day. Of course a reward doesn't have to come straight after a workout; it can appear at any time of the day. However I definitely advise a reward almost straight after.
I am a lucky son-of-a-gun. Near my gym is a rather nice jacuzzi and after all my gym sessions i pop in there for up to 15 minutes and just relax. It is a beautiful sensation because I have earnt it after a really tricky workout. In fact the jacuzzi moment enters my mind about 3/4 of the way through my gym session. My goal is in my head, and I will get there.
Rewarding yourself is vital because it is one of the main reasons you go that extra mile, one of the main reasons you go back to the gym tomorrow to get that reward again. As TDL Fitness has always advocated motivation is the biggest and most powerful element in the fitness life we all lead in some way. Motivation comes from doing things right and getting long term results; sure. We all really work however in the now; in the "what do i get now?" lifestyle. I am like that and that's why I am on Amazon Prime.
So what is a reward like? Weirdly enough it can be a pizza or ice cream. Isn't that counter productive after the gym? Well yes, but this reward won't hamper your progress because you have it after a big session in the gym, which might indirectly motivate you to do more in the gym. Also you are more inclined to eat the bad food without guilt, find that eating isn't a guilty pleasure and a life lesson is learnt from a reward also.
Rewards can be even simpler. Sticker stars on a chart, a tick in the calendar with a smiley face is reward enough. Why? You can't get a sticker star unless you train. We all wanted to be the child with the most stars next to our name in primary and secondary (and university) school, why stop now? The joy of getting a reward is underestimated and seldom used.
We seem to think that a fitness life is about punishing ourselves for our wickedness for eating too much or living a sedentary lifestyle. Not at all! Fitness is a lifestyle about treating yourself and so treating yourself doesn't end at the gym. It never ends. Rewards generate pride in what we have done and will do in the future. Rewards give us a sense of awareness that we have done something special; not to anyone else's standard mind you. We have done something special and brilliant to our own standards and at the end of the day that is all that matters; whether you have exceeded your own expectations, not anyone else's!
Someone rewarding themselves for running 20km is just as valuable as someone who ran 5km. Whatever you choose make sure it is enough for you, not for other people. Rewarding yourself is just as selfish as going to the gym. You do both for your own benefit and no one else's and that is not something to be ashamed of; it's something to be proud of. If you can understand that you understand the basics of the fitness lifestyle; who cares what other people think as long as I am going in the right direction to lead a healthy, happy life.
I hope after reading this you will feel that a reward is not as simple and mundane as you may have previously thought. Rewards breed motivation, facilitate the repeating mentality and push you on to bigger and greater things. Make it as personal to you as possible. I chose the jacuzzi because I feel utterly relaxed and lazy in it and I like it. What is your choice? Have a try, see what you like. You will be suprised how effective a simple gesture to yourself really is.
#BeProud....no literally. Be proud....