Consider an exercise tip jar

At ParticipACTION, we believe that being active daily is a victory that deserves a reward. And what better reward than all the benefits physical activity provides? Study after study proves that physical activity helps reduce the risk of disease and improves mental and emotional health. Also, it just makes you feel good!

When was the last time you finished a workout and said “Geez, I wished I skipped out today”?

Yet, with all these known benefits, why are only 20% of Canadian adults getting enough of it? Well, there’s a bunch of reasons, and not surprisingly, lack of motivation is one of them. 

I recently learned about a motivational tool called Tip Yourself – it’s an app that helps people reward themselves by recognizing their daily victories. I think it’s a great concept – you tip others for driving you somewhere or cutting your hair, why not tip yourself for doing something that’s good for you – like sitting less and moving more? Of course, you don’t have to use an app to do this. A good old fashioned mason jar will do.

Here are a few ways I “tip myself” for getting up and active:

  1. I pass on the bus and walk instead. Sure it adds 15 minutes to my commute – but I use those minutes to think, move my body, and get my heart pumping, so it’s worth it.
  2. I use my standing desk at work. I’m fortunate to work in an environment that supports physical activity – and I take advantage of it. I raise my desk to standing mode at least every 30 minutes. It’s especially beneficial at about 3pm when my energy levels dip. If you don’t have a standing desk, get up and move every 30 minutes (walk to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing, drink lots of water so you have to use the washroom more often).
  3. I make the extra effort to do something active with my kids after work. And believe me, it takes effort. But after an hour of skating, tobogganing, or swimming, we feel like a million bucks. That’s the magic of physical activity!  

We’re all faced with choices every day and making the active choice isn’t always easy. Consider using the “tip yourself” concept. Identify some actions that are worth rewarding and then make it happen. Don’t forget to celebrate your victories along the way!