Exercise as Punishment: Why It’s Never a Good Idea

Exercise as Punishment: Why It’s Never a Good Idea - Vitality Fitness - Boot Camp Calgary

Sometimes, a life-hack or two is needed to reprogram your habits for the betterment of your fitness. This is where reward systems can play an important role. However, punishing yourself with exercise can be a very counterproductive habit, especially when you punish yourself for eating!

How Does it Start?

Usually, poor diet decisions are made and unhealthy food items are consumed in excess. Then, a particularly rigorous day at the gym is administered as a form of self-discipline. While self-discipline is an important part of getting healthier, the message you’re sending yourself in this circumstance isn’t a particularly positive or productive one. It’s also true that the right range of exercises can get you back on track if you stray from your usual fitness schedule, but the self-punishment routine carries a few snags with it that can cause further problems.

Why You Should Rule it Out

The issue with using exercise as a form of punishment is that it allows for a sense of discouragement and obligation surrounding the idea of exercise altogether. You may then be inclined to leverage this punishment system by justifying a poor diet with exercise, when the two components need to work in harmony to improve your health. One of the most important considerations in locking down a solid exercise routine is to view exercise itself as your way to a better you, not only cosmetically and physically, but mentally and emotionally.

Proper Motivations for Exercise

From increased flow of endorphins to a sense of accomplishment, there’s excellent potential for positivity in exercise. The last thing you want to do is compromise this by conceptualizing it as a punitive measure! The exercise-as-punishment habit ties in closely with food guilt, something we’ve mentioned on this blog before. At the end of the day, guilt means stress, and stress is one of the top things you want to avoid when improving your quality of life through fitness. Put together a selection of exercise habits that suit you, comprised of activities that you genuinely enjoy. It should be something you look forward to during your day!

Are you ready to make better eating and exercise a force of positivity and well-being in your life? That’s what we like to hear! Vitality Fitness can help get you on the right track, give us a call at (587) 777-3378 and ask about Boot Camp!



**Vitality Fitness clients have been known to achieve many different results. From weight loss, strength training, minor rehabilitation, inches lost and more. These results will vary on a case by case basis, as no two individuals are alike. There is no guarantee that you will have the same results, and no guarantee is implied. The photographs and testimonials on vitalityfitnesscalgary.com are of real clients who have been using Vitality Fitness for a varied duration of time. The 50 day challenge participants and members have been asked to provide their stories, their point of views, their successes and their struggles. Results will vary. Please consult your physician before starting a new workout routine, especially if you have not been active for a prolonged period of time. The success stories displayed on Vitality Fitness are of those who: have completed a 50 Day Challenge, are ongoing members, follow a nutrition plan, may supplement (vitamins), who track their results and work with Vitality Fitness for their weight loss and fitness goals. Results will vary based on the number of classes you attend, your health and adherence to the nutrition and workout plan customized uniquely to you. References to “losing inches” or “inches lost” refers to the total combined amount of inches lost throughout the entire body.