First, let’s define EXTREME.

Most of us aren’t world-class athletes or olympians – where the extreme of the extreme live. There, every millisecond counts, every ounce counts, every calorie counts. Everything counts … for or against you.

Thankfully (I think) most us don’t live there. Our extremes may be working out every day, or eliminating sugar, or training for an ultra-marathon.

But even these “extremes” can be challenging to maintain – with jobs, families and other activities demanding our time and attention.

So if you’re not chasing Olympic gold, finding balance in your extreme is probably a good thing – and will allow you to be more consistent for the long-term – which is the ultimate game-changer.

For me, it’s taking easy days when the body (and mind) is screaming for it. So maybe after a week or two of pretty intense workouts, I’ll skip the run and go for a hike with my dog instead. I’m still out there moving, doing something, but it’s a break that I really need. And it allows me to get back to going hard – again, and again.

If I’m on vacation, I’ll still workout every day, but the sessions will usually be shorter, and often easier.

I find this type of balance allows me to still exercise every single day – but keeps me from burning out – physically and mentally.

I know “balance” can be a divisive word for some. It may mean compromise to some, being “soft” to others – but for me, it’s the only way I can maintain fitness for the long haul – because that is the game I am in now.