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Healthy living leads to healthy rewards

Paula Reece

It’s been said we’re a society that loves to be rewarded. We want to be rewarded for everything. Whether it’s credit card rewards, fuel points or discounts, positive reinforcements motivate us in making purchasing decisions.

But let’s talk about rewards of a different sort, those you could achieve from leading a healthy lifestyle. 

First decide what your wants, needs and goals look like. Everyone’s list will be different. These rewards can motivate you to participate in an activity. Some rewards are instantaneous, like washing your car, while others are long term, such as studying hard for years to earn a degree.

One way to view the things you do is to look at the benefits and rewards first and then decide how you’ll achieve them. You might want to participate in water sports. It’s important, then, to first learn to swim. 

Think about all the choices we make in which we’re unaware of the rewards we receive. These are habits, and many habits are instilled in us at a very young age.

Consider creating awareness in the family in which children understand that leading a healthy lifestyle through food, exercise, hygiene and safety is a choice. You could benefit from putting some kind of reward system in place in your own family setting.

Decide how this will work for your family. Make it a game. This teaches the family there’s a goal, rules and accountability. Your family could make a reward chart for each member.  You could have such categories as exercise, chores, food and school work. Each member of the family works towards a reward each week or each month. Maybe it’s praise for work well done, a family retreat to the park or getting ice cream.

Healthy living rewards are numerous. Exercise is one of the best examples of action followed by reward that anyone can do for themselves. By exercising, you’re taking care of your body inside and out through strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training. The reward is not something that can be bought. It only comes to those who make it happen.

Healthy living is more than just exercising, though. It’s taking care of you — all of you. Not everyone loves going to the dentist, but everyone loves a great smile. A dazzling white smile is a reward of care. Eating a healthy diet, brushing and flossing your teeth every day and visiting the dentist for routine cleanings and check ups all lead to healthy dental hygiene that will reward you for many years.

The outcomes of some activities are the reward — good grades, fresh produce from the garden or a clean house. But what about when you lose your first 5 pounds, quit smoking or save money? All these things come with rewards. It’s okay to tell yourself “good job” and reward yourself with something that’s meaningful to you. Maybe it’s a new pair of jeans, a good book or a massage.

None of the things we do or want just happen. They’re a reward of effort. By making choices that lead you closer to your goals, you’ll reap the benefits that leading a healthy lifestyle provides.

A healthy and fit body is an amazing reward, wouldn’t you agree?

Paula and Dale Reece own Crossroads Fitness Centers in Grand Junction with a downtown location in the Alpine Bank Building at 225 N. Fifth St. and an airport location at 2768 Compass Drive. For more information, call 242-8746 or log on to www.crossroadsfitness.com.
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Posted by on Apr 24 2013. Filed under Contributors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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