A mature, sophisticated woman would find the reward for exercise to be in the results, no matter how minuscule the progress or how tedious the road. I think I am not mature, nor sophisticated. You will never hear me say, "I just do it because I love it." I have a good friend who actually likes to jog. If I say, "Hey, let's do something fun!" she may suggest we jog for 5 miles. I can not relate.
I need more immediate rewards than the potential loss of a jeans size six months down the road can offer. I would like cookies or donuts as my reward but I think it would prove counter-productive. Thanks to the results of the Bye Buy challenge, shopping doesn't even feel like a reward any more (yay!) So where does one find a carrot to chase in the short term?
My husband found his carrot in the form of a Biggest Loser contest. Not the televised version (he would be laughed right off the giant scale if he tried to convince them he needed to lose weight!) The people in his office have come together to challenge each other. There is money involved. Someone will win. That is his carrot, a competition. I'm not sure if it's a guy thing or not, but I cheer for everyone trying to get fit. He leaves cookies on people's desks as temptation and emails photos of cheeseburgers and pizza. He really wants to win.
I think I have found my carrot, though. It's a playlist! My injured knee finally healed and I have graduated from the treadmill to jogging, which is a good thing because I have a hard time staying steady on a treadmill. I am shocked that I haven't been thrown off the back yet. But the treadmill keeps track of things like distance, speed and calories burned. Rather than watching a clock, I decided to make a playlist on my iPod that would run for 30 minutes, plus a warm up and cool down. I picked songs I really love that get my blood pumping. Here's the catch- I can only listen to these songs while jogging! Not in the car or while I clean. Not when I am working. Only jogging. I love it! I look forward to enjoying my favorite songs. The time flies and I almost always manage to not sing them out loud. Here is my jogging playlist:
Warm up: Home Phillip Phillips (I may be one of the three people in the country not tired of this song)
30 minute jog:
Titanium David Guetta and Sia this song really gets me moving
Don't Stop the Party Pitbull que no pare la fiesta
Locked Out of Heaven Bruno Mars love it
International Love Pitbull can't translate the lyrics, don't care
Wepa Gloria Estefan listen to this if you like fun workout or dance music
Star Baby Guess Who a little blast from the past
Gasolina Daddy Yankee my favorite Zumba song
Cowboy Kid Rock very nasty but a guilty pleasure
Cool down: Lucky Jason Mraz then I go find my fitness pal in the gym
I'll change it up as needed or add more tracks when I increase my time.
Other good exercise rewards:
Workout with a friend
Enjoy a magazine after your workout
Try http://earndit.com/ for $$$ rewards