When you work out, how hard do you push yourself? Whether you’re going for a run, practicing yoga, or lifting weights – if you constantly exercise at the same level with no real effort that raises the bar a little higher, you’re cheating yourself out of potential benefit.

Our bodies are truly remarkable and do a great job adapting to change. That said, our legs won’t move faster unless we turn them over quicker. A dozen chaturangas (or more) in yoga don’t get any easier if you don’t practice good form. Your legs, arms and back won’t get any stronger if you’re not lifting weights that you don’t fatigue your muscles.

I always say something is better than nothing – and that’s true. But if exercise is already a part of your lifestyle, and your commitment to your body’s fitness is strong, push yourself a little harder today. Consciously intend to finish your work out with a little more effort and precision than what you did yesterday or the day before.

Here are a few tips that could change your work out:

  • Endurance: Add in three sets of two-minute intervals, increasing your pace. This can be applied to running, cycling, swimming, the elliptical machine, stair climber – you name it.
  • Strength Training: Add weight to a normal set, or increase the amount of repetitions by five or more.
  • Time: Add five minutes onto your daily workouts this week. Next week, add five more.
  • Variety: Do something different this week that you avoid simply because it’s a challenge.