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Is it ok to reward myself for exercising?

It is ok to reward yourself for exercising, but be careful of the reward. If the reward contradicts the healthy exercise you just did, then it might not be the best reward. However, if it is in-line with the positive direction you are headed then it can help continue to move you forward. Be careful to not get stuck on outside rewards that change or go away because ultimately they don't keep you motivated to continue the behavior.
Absolutely!  Rewards can help motivate you to achieve exercise goals.  Just choose your rewards wisely.  It would be counter-productive to have a candy bar as a reward, but a fun choice might be a new exercise clothes or music.
It is ok to reward yourself for things you did in the gym.  However, if those rewards offset the work you did do in the gym it might not be a good idea.  You also don't want to get into those habits that cause you to reward yourself for the good deeds you do.  For most people their rewards are on the weekends.  Keep in mind you don't want your rewards to out weight your hard work on the rest of the week.  I always tell my clients keep it simple.  If you have a favorite cookie, cake or even a candy bar that can be made for your reward.  Remember we weren't born with all these treats in our hands.  Sure have some fun but just don't let it go to your head on a weekly basis. 
Rewarding yourself for exercising can be an effective way to help keep you motivated and on track. The key to rewarding yourself is to choose rewards that will not undermine all the hard work you have done. For example, it's not very helpful to reward yourself for a month of consistent exercise by treating yourself to a day of pigging out. Rewarding yourself with something that corresponds with or compliments your fitness achievements would be much better in the long run. A spa treatment, new haircut or a new outfit would be a much better reward because it corresponds with you taking care of yourself. If you decide to reward yourself for exercising make sure that your choice is in line with your fitness, health and overall wellness goals.
Super good question! My opinion is YES. I also have the opinion that HOW you reward yourself is important. I’m not so much a fan of rewarding yourself with a big old piece of chocolate cake because you made it to spinning class. Number one you are just negating the work you’ve done, but more importantly you are establishing a wacky relationship with what is good for you with what really isn’t so good for you. I’d like to see you reward yourself with something more value based. Say your goal is to exercise three times a week. And maybe you need your family to help you with your strategy.  Perhaps your spouse and kids are in charge of dinner clean up three nights a week so that you can go to your exercise class. Then every week that you reach your goal, a certain amount of money goes into a Family Fun Fund! As soon as you have enough saved, you do something special as a family that you don’t often do. That way you get your whole family involved to make it happen and to share the reward.
Darren Treasure, PhD
Sports Medicine
Absolutely, because rewards can be very motivating!! Rewards are an important part of behavioral change especially during the initial phases of exercise when the costs seem to outweigh the benefits. Rewards provide validation and information that shows that you are on the way to successfully changing your behavior. It is really important, however, that you do not establish a contingency between exercise and rewards.  Specifically, you do not want to create a situation where you are only exercising because of the reward. If you do this the reward will stop being a source of information that you are doing well and likely become the reason you are exercising. Overtime the reward will simply not be sufficient to keep you motivated or sustain your interest in exercising. At that point you are likely to drop-out as there is no inherently satisfying aspect of exercise itself to keep you engaged. People who successfully change their behavior are those who view a reward as affirmation that they are on the right track on their journey to a healthy lifestyle. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.