SWEET RE­WARDS

Good Health (Australia) - - Be Energized -

Chang­ing our per­cep­tion to­wards ex­er­cise will take time, as will break­ing the habit of eat­ing sug­ary treats af­ter. But, all work and no play doesn’t sound fun. “Re­wards are a nec­es­sary in­cen­tive, par­tic­u­larly in the early days,” says Leanne. “Fo­cus on re­wards that en­cour­age self-care and tie in with your health-re­lated goals. Book in for a mas­sage or pedi­cure, catch up with a friend or buy some new work­out clothes.” If you’ve set spe­cific ex­er­cise or health goals as in­cen­tives, re­ward your­self sig­nif­i­cantly when you smash those goals. Maybe that night away, hand­bag, or new pair of shoes is just beg­ging to be bought. As your re­wards col­lec­tion grows, so too will your stamina, re­cov­ery rate and en­joy­ment of ex­er­cise. And that’s when the real magic hap­pens. “When we en­joy ex­er­cise and see re­sults, whether it be in­creased fit­ness, strength or weight loss, we no longer seek out some­thing to make us feel ‘good’ af­ter­wards,” ex­plains Leanne. “The en­dor­phins and sero­tonin that we re­lease are enough of a re­ward and we’re mo­ti­vated to make healthy food choices.” Con­se­quently, Leanne notes that this usu­ally co­in­cides with us start­ing to learn more about food as a whole. “We want to know how to fuel our bodies to feel good in­side and out, and meet our spe­cific goals. Ex­er­cise also brings to­gether like-minded peo­ple and it be­comes eas­ier to share knowl­edge and ideas.” Adds Leanne, “The key is to make ex­er­cise and healthy eat­ing part of your life­style, as op­posed to us­ing it to com­pen­sate for un­healthy choices. Re­mem­ber that flex­i­bil­ity is also im­por­tant and some­times that un­healthy snack is to­tally fine!”

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