By Leo Babauta

If you already have an exercise habit, you might consider one of the Get Active & Fit Advanced Challenges.

Who should do the Advanced Challenge? Someone who already exercises 4 or more times a week, for more than a month now.

If you used to exercise consistently but haven’t been recently, don’t do an Advanced Challenge. If you’re just getting into the habit, stick with the basic plan.

But if you feel you’re ready for an Advanced Challenge, here they are … choose one!

  1. Get more consistent. If you’re exercising 3-4 times a week, but some weeks it’s less … try doing it every day. Even for just 5-10 minutes a day. If you are having fun and want to go longer, that’s totally fine. But aim for a minimum of 5 minutes a day, even on the days you’re tired. Just do something fun and active. And try to be as consistent as you can.
  2. Add time. If you exercise most days but usually get 10-15 minutes (or 15-20), you might try going 25-30. Or longer if you’re doing endurance exercise like running, biking or swimming. Just add a few minutes a week to 2-3 workouts.
  3. Do something tough. Want to step up the intensity? Try adding explosive exercises (plyometrics or Olympic barbell lifts), interval training, or a weighted backpack to your hikes or trail runs. I’m going to assume you know how to safely add all of these, you’re in good health, and you can do some online research on how to do them properly (or ask a coach).
  4. Add short periods throughout the day. Instead of changing your existing routine, you might try to do 3-5 short sessions (of 5-10 minutes) during different times of you day. Just take a break from the computer and do a handful of lunges or sprints or go up and down the stairs in your building. Or do some yoga for a few minutes. Anything to add activity and fun to your usually lazy days. :)
  5. Help someone else. If you already do all of the above, help someone else become active. Take a friend to the gym with you, go for a walk with someone on a daily basis, take a class with someone, ride bikes with your kids every day. This will make someone’s life demonstrably better.

Which challenge are you up for?