10 Fitness Rewards that Don’t Include Food

10 Fitness Rewards that Don't Include Food

Making big changes to live healthy and be fit can be hard work and when we reach milestones in our fitness progress, big or small, we want to be able to reward ourselves. However, rewarding fitness gains with (unhealthy) food can be counterproductive when done too often. In fact, one really big “cheat day” can undo weeks of progress. For those whose goals include fat loss, rewarding every few pounds of weight loss with a cheat day can be detrimental.

That’s not to say that cheat meals should never happen (mmm, pizza), but having other great ways to pat yourself on the back can help keep you on track while still boosting your excitement for even more great fitness progress to come.

Here are my top 10 ways to “Treat Yo’self” for a job well done!

  1. New Makeup 

    Who ever has enough makeup? Here’s a chance to splurge on something that’s (virtually) guilt free! You can never have too many lipsticks. Or how about a shimmery body lotion to show off those fit legs and arms? Go ahead and indulge in this calorie-free reward. Be careful, though, that your wallet doesn’t lose a few pounds as well.10 Fitness Rewards Makeup Ratherbeeating

  2. New Shoes

    After kicking so much butt in the gym, your old faithful sneakers are probably showing some signs of wear. Pick out some new kicks to style on all your gym buddies, or maybe even some new heels to show off that new definition in your quads and calves.10 Fitness Rewards New Sneakers ratherbeeating

  3. Massage or Facial

    Rejuvenate those hard-working muscles and release tension with a detoxing massage or other spa treatment. It’s a great treat that will leave you unwound and ready to take on the next fitness milestone, or even just a crazy week at work.10 Fitness Rewards Massage ratherbeeating

  4. Mani/Pedi or Chic New Polish.

    A manicure or pedicure is an awesome and affordable way to pamper yourself. Opt for the gel manicure and you can head straight to the gym afterwards!10 Fitness Rewards Manicure

  5. New Fitness Gear

    Rewarding yourself with new gym clothes not only makes you feel good, but it’s sure to get you right back to your workouts to show off your new gym style! You could spring for those amazing-but-expensive workout tights you’ve been stalking on Instagram, or go crazy in a discount store like Forever21 or TJ Maxx (my fave!). 10 fitness rewards workout clothes ratherbeeating

  6. New Music to Power Your Workouts

    Go ahead and hit up iTunes for that new album you’ve been wanting, set yourself up with a subscription music service like Spotify, or find yourself a great new playlist from a local DJ. Outdone yourself this month? Perhaps you can splurge on some new headphones to pump up the musical motivation.10 Fitness Rewards music headphones ratherbeeating

  7. An Outing or Trip

    A beach vacation, a road trip, or even an outing to the movies can give you something to look forward to as you grind away towards your goals. Bonus points for taking an excursion that includes activities with fitness components such as hiking, swimming, indoor rock climbing, etc., which will keep your fitness progress going while you have fun.couple on cliff

  8. A “ME” Day

    Use an extra vacation day you’ve been saving, or try clearing your usually-full Saturday schedule for once. Going hard is great, but everyone deserves to relax and decompress after working hard at their goals. Forget all the other errands and requests you need to address just this once and have a full day that is all about YOU. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.10 fitness rewards relaxing in bathrobe ratherbeeating

  9. New Reading Material  

    I love curling up with a new book, and if you read as much as I do, it can get expensive. Splurging on some books you’ve been wanting for a while is a great feeling. Catch up on more health and nutrition info, or just relax with a great new novel, memoir or political commentary. These are also useful to relax with on your “ME” Day (see #8). Bonus points for an audiobook you can listen to during your workout or weekly meal prep!10 fitness rewards books

    —Related Post: Are You Working Out with a Plan?

  10. New Haircut or Style

    Fab hair to go with your fab fit and healthy body is a great way to reward yourself. Whether a chic new cut and color or just a nice blowout, it’s about the experience and treating yourself to something that looks and feels great. Plus, especially for the ladies, it will be great to repair all the damage done by weeks of workouts with those sweaty ponytail holders. 10 fitness rewards haircut ratherbeeating

Keep in mind that these great ways of rewarding yourself don’t just apply for fitness accomplishments. You may use these reward ideas for any great event, milestone or accomplishment worth celebrating. It’s all about changing the “food-as-a-reward” attitude.

What great fitness rewards do you like to splurge on? Be sure to share and leave your comment below.

10 Fitness Rewards That Aren't Food


Awesome ways to reward fitness progress! Finally something better than cheat days!