Healthy efforts produce numerous 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, reinforcements motivate us to make purchasing decisions.    

Let’s talk about what rewards you could achieve through living a healthy lifestyle.

Decide what your wants, needs and goals look like. Everyone’s list will be different. Rewards can both encourage and motivate you to participate in an activity. Some rewards are instantaneous, like washing your car. 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.  Maybe you want to participate in water sports. It’s important, then, to learn to swim. 

Think about all the choices when we’re unaware of the rewards we’re receiving. They’re habits. Many of these habits were instilled in us at a young age.

Create awareness in the family so children understand living a healthy lifestyle through food, exercise, hygiene and safety is a choice. You could benefit from implementing some kind of reward system in your 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. For example, your family could make a reward chart for each family member. You might have such categories as chores,  exercise, 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 ice cream.

Healthy living rewards are numerous. Exercise constitutes one of the best examples of action followed by reward that anyone can do for themselves. You take care of your body inside and out through cardio, flexibility and strength training. The reward isn’t something that can be bought. It only comes to those who make it happen.

Healthy living is more than just exercising. It’s taking care of you. All of you. Not everyone loves going to the dentist, but everyone loves a great smile. A dazzling 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 checkups all lead to healthy dental hygiene that will reward you for many years.

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

None of the things we do or want just happen. They are a reward of effort. By making choices that lead you closer to your goals, you’ll reap the benefits that living a healthy lifestyle provides. A healthy and fit body is an amazing reward, wouldn’t you agree?