Get Going/ Health and Fitness
Kristin Booker • January 23, 2012

Fitness Tip Of The Day: My Top 5 Favorite Rewards For Working Out

As human beings, we’re more apt to be motivated by rewards. What starts as a gold star when we do well on a test and an allowance when we do our chores well just gets bigger and bigger. After all, what’s the fun of being an adult if the rewards aren’t even cooler than those we had as a child?

This also pertains to working out. We have big goals in mind and they usually revolve around a particular event (birthday, class reunion, beach vacation) and have a particular clothing item in sizes smaller than what we wear now. But what about little rewards along the way to keep yourself motivated?

This is where food treats are NOT going to help you. Saying that you can have a cupcake if you work out six times this week is setting yourself up for failure.  The average bakery cupcake is 585 calories and contains 20 g and 12 g of saturated fat, which is a little more than half your allowance for saturated fat in a day. SO not ok.

Think about how many more workouts you’ll have to do that next week to burn that off. Not so rewarding now, is it? OK, so if you want to replace it with something more motivating, here are five items that have a price range at or lower than this cupcake and are possibly more fun than having to chain yourself to 2-3 additional workouts to burn off a baked good:

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot. About $6

  • Reward: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot 
  • Cost: about $6
  • Why:  There is NOTHING that can make a woman feel more empowered than a good lipstick, and this universal red looks good on every single person on the planet. Plus, it can improve the condition of your lips as you use it.



  • Reward: A fabulous skinny latte from Starbucks
  • Cost: again, about $6
  • Why: Because you’ll enjoy what feels like a totally decadent dessert and a jolt of energy while maintaining your waistline. According to Starbucks’ own calorie chart, a Grande (16 oz) latte with non-fat milk and a shot of sugar-free syrup is only 120 calories with 0 grams of fat, saturated or otherwise. A venti is 160 calories and the same 0 grams of fat. You can do that in your sleep.


Philosophy Amazing Grace Perfumed Shampoo, Shower & Bath Gel. 2oz for $5.


The Strand Bookstore. Image courtesy of The Weblicist.

  • Reward: A bargain book or your favorite magazine (or your new favorite fashion magazine)
  • Cost :$5 or less (unless you’re like me and read a lot of imports)
  • Why: Sometimes a new fun distraction is just the thing to get your mind off of your aching muscles. I troll resale book shops (The Strand here in NYC is magical) and I am always working on a gigantic stack of magazines. I’m not a fan of gossip magazines but if that’s what does it for you, they’re about $4. Go nuts.

  • Reward: Sex
  • Cost: FREE (unless it’s not anymore…in which case, we’re all screwed, literally.)
  • Why: Not ONLY will you have fun and make yourself and possibly someone else happy, but you’ll burn relieve stress, increase your flexibility and improve the condition of your skin. According to WebMD, 30 minutes of sex torches 85 calories or more, so if you add those together throughout a month, you could really burn some weight! Best reward EVER!

See? Now put down the cupcake and go work out. You’ve got some great rewards to earn for all your hard work. Get going!


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