A Few Ways to Incentivize Your Workouts

In a healthy fitness routine, the goal is that you come not to mind working out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your favorite part of the day, but it shouldn’t be something you dread either. The trouble is getting to that point from scratch! If you’re just starting a fitness routine, or you’re just ramping up your efforts, you may find it difficult to motivate yourself to get the job done day in and day out. If this is the case, relax – you’re far from being alone. Plenty of people struggle with exercise motivation.

Again, the goal is that at some point you really don’t mind doing it. But in the meantime, you may just be able to kick yourself into a routine by creating a tangible incentive of some kind. It’ll take its own kind of discipline, but if you can put some sort of consequence on the line, so to speak, you may be more likely to stick to your workouts until they actually become routine.

One way to do it is actually through a handy little workout app called Pact. This is an app that essentially challenges you to set a workout schedule and then stick to it. You basically wager small amounts of money that you will complete “healthy activities” and the app tracks whether or not you succeed. If you don’t, you surrender those small wagers; if you do, you collect a small sum comprised of other people’s losses.

In a way, the app is betting that more people will fail than succeed, and that’s a little bit disconcerting. At the same time, however, we’re talking about very small sums, and it might be just the trick you need to design a regular routine. One of the top stories on the app’s blog shows a man named Pedro who withdrew $73.90 out of the app after doing almost 500 healthy activities. It’s kind of a win-win, yes?

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Another, similar method for incentivizing workouts is to simply bet on yourself on a more personal level. There are some instances in which this concept has been taken pretty far. Just a few years ago a man named Alistair Lee won a significant sum of money from a betting firm after losing a whopping 100lbs in the space of a year. That’s probably not an option for most of us, but you don’t need a betting firm to follow through on the same concept. For instance, you could challenge a friend who’s also trying to be more consistent with exercise, setting a milestone and establishing that the first one to reach it wins a given bet.  You can also get competitive without any kind of wager, if it’s more appealing to you. In fact, there’s one method in particular that’s brand new in this regard, and which can be a very fun incentive particularly for sprinting and cardio exercise. It’s called AR Runner, and it’s a brand new app for Apple’s iOS11-compatible devices. Basically, the game sets checkpoints in fields and other places through AR, such that they’re always there if you open up the app. You can then compete against other players worldwide by running through those checkpoints and seeing how your time compares to others. It’s a fairly specific activity, but if you’re the competitive type it might just drive you not only to keep running through checkpoints but to work on improving your speed and overall fitness.

Of course, if you’d rather avoid gimmicks, you can also go back to the tried and true method of joining a group or finding a workout buddy. Having a partner with similar goals who will want to workout on the same schedule you strive to establish can often be the best tool for diligence. The social components – having a partner to exercise with, sticking to a schedule, and not letting him or her down – can simply be very effective incentives.

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas to think about if these are issues you’ve dealt with in your overall wellness routine. There’s certainly nothing wrong with trying to establish some outside motivation to help yourself get into a routine, and before you know it you might even enjoy your daily workout.