Healthy Ways To Bribe Yourself To Go To The Gym

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the energy, time, and motivation needed to work out, but there are some tips and tricks that can help inspire just about everyone in this area.

One of the main reasons people avoid the gym is because they have the wrong goals. According to a study from the Journal of Health Psychology, focusing on weight loss and personal flaws can lead to dreading exercising and finding it, overall, less enjoyable. With the right mindset, though, you will be reminded of how exercise can, more importantly, reduce your risk of diseases, improve your mood, and strengthen your body (via MedlinePlus).

That being said, we should all be moving regularly, and for many of us, it can be hard to find the motivation to work our bodies in a way that will give long-term health benefits — exercising. Believe it or not, there are ways to sort of bribe yourself to get your exercise routine into gear.

Work out with a group of friends

One way to make workouts more enjoyable is to do them with friends. While you may usually catch up with each other over dinner or drinks, you can do so, instead, over dumbbells and treadmills. Additionally, you can join official groups and clubs, either in real life or online, in order to get access to an established and a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

One way to take this all a step further is to sign a contract in front of your peers, motivating you to follow through on your goals. More motivation can be incorporated when money is involved. "I say I'm going to make a commitment to do something for a certain amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks," Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University, told Daily Burn. "If I don't do that, I'm going to pay some kind of penalty, whether it's monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn't live up to my word."

Prepare for workouts by planning your outfits and playlists

Another idea for how to get pumped up for the gym comes from HuffPost and involves the time before you exercise.

First up are the clothes we wear, which affect our self-image and even our cognitive abilities, as reported by Deutsche Welle. "Wearing bright colors or something that I feel particularly good in always helps me in the morning classes," SoulCycle's Sydney Miller told HuffPost. Whether your thing is bright and bold prints and patterns, an all-black ensemble, or your favorite T-shirt, be sure to "go for something you love and feel like a '10′ in."

Second, music is a big part of many workout sessions, and when we listen to tunes, the feel-good hormone, dopamine, is released. Therefore, you can spend time putting together the perfect playlist before heading off to the gym. You can also share this with pals and through social media, introducing others to your go-to songs and artists, which may just help prepare them for their own workouts.

Reward yourself for going to the gym

Finally, there are rewards that you can give yourself, based on your workouts. Charles Duhigg, who wrote "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business," says, "An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile." Examples include eating your favorite food after hitting the gym or buying yourself something at the end of a week full of exercising (via Daily Burn).

Trainer Nikki Walter tells herself, "Will work for dinner. Will work for sauna," while working out. Trainer Jessica Diaz "pays" herself after getting in some movement. "I always have a mental list running of a pair of shoes or a dress I want. Then I divide the price by my goal number of days I want to work out that week. So if it's a $100 item, and my goal is four workouts that week, I 'pay' myself $25 for each workout" (via "Today").