Our fitness programs should be challenging but not totally exhausting, they should be tough but still fun and they should get the results as quickly as possible.

The amount of exercise we do, the quality of the exercises, how much good or bad food we eat, how much we sleep each night and our physical stress levels, all have an effect on our fitness, health and our look.

Pro athletes have to push their bodies to the limits day after day, in search of that 4-5% extra in performance that can be the difference between winning and losing.

If structured correctly, you would probably be surprised how little time we need to exercise in order to look and feel pretty amazing.

The good news for us non-pro athletes, is that it is not necessary for us to exercise and workout to 100% of our maximum levels every day, far from it. Pro athletes have the time to train and time in between to rest and recover. We have our lives, families, friends and responsibilities too. Pushing so hard every day and too much time spent working out, can be detrimental to our goals of sculpting lean, toned bodies, gaining more energy and reducing aches and pains.

And even with the workouts that we do for general fitness and health, not every day can we do the full workout to 100% intensity and effort. Some days we do eat the burger with fries. Some days we need to skip a workout as we simply don’t have time, other responsibilities need to be taken care of.

There is an optimal balance of what types of exercises we need to do, in which order to do them and how often, that will achieve an amazing look and feel to our bodies.

Maybe you have 3 sets of a workout to do today, but you struggle with the first one. Should you push for all 3 sets, hate every minute of it and leave pissed off and tired? Maybe you were up the night before with your son or daughter later than usual. So maybe 2 sets is all you can do well today…two sets is great.

Now, you can’t do this all the time and expect the optimal results. But once you have some training history behind you (4-6 weeks), missing a session, doing half a session, eating a big greasy burger and fries, will not make any difference to how you feel and how you look.

Maybe you can’t workout today, but you take the stairs up 5 flights to get to your office instead of the lift. Maybe you park a few blocks away from your errands and walk. Things like this will make small differences in your daily calorie burn.

If you start trying a few things like this, after a couple of weeks they will become natural to you and you’ll be finding lots of ways to burn a few extra calories here and there. There are so many ways to do it. And once they add up at the end of the week, you'll still be pretty much on track.

    Ten simple ways to burn more calories every day:
  • Take the stairs instead of lifts/elevators when ever possible.
  • Park a little further away from your destinations when running errands.
  • Stand when you take the bus or ride on the tube.
  • Make an effort to play with your kids instead of just watching them.
  • Cook and then wash dishes when you can.
  • Take the dog for walk instead of just letting him run around outside.
  • Tap your feet when sitting, maybe listening to music at your desk.
  • Stretch and adjust positions while sitting at your desk.
  • Take little walking breaks around the office or outside when you can.
  • Walk on the spot for a bit, do a few knee lifts or even crunches for a few minutes when watching TV.

And during your workouts, maybe for a couple of exercises you can’t do full range of motion every time today, maybe your Burpees are not big and full…a set of half jump burpees is fine for today. A set of press ups where your chest doesn’t quite make it all the way to the floor is great too. Something, is better than nothing. Just try not to let a half session become a regular thing.

And if you simply can’t do anything today and just need a rest. Then take it. Just try not to let a skipped day turn into a skipped week. Something (4 workouts this week instead of 6) is better than nothing.

So keep in mind that the exercises and fitness programs that you do should give you time for everything else in your life that is important to you. They should give you extra energy and more capacity to enjoy your life. They should be challenging but not totally exhausting, they should be tough but still fun and they should get the results as quickly as possible and be easily sustainable.

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