Skyrim Special Edition
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Stat growth now occurs through stat use. Expansion for fatigue/injury mod Exhaustion - Incremental Fatigue.

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Exercise is an expansion for Exhaustion - Incremental Fatigue that changes how you increase your health, magicka, and stamina. When you sleep, in addition to having exhaustion reduced, you gain a percentage of the recovered stats as an increase to your stat pool (10% by default, configurable through the Exhaustion MCM).*

This means stat pools grow naturally with the use of that stat: taking lots of damage increases health, casting lots of spells increases magicka, and sprinting and power attacking increases stamina.

As in vanilla, stamina growth cause a corresponding carry weight increase, but half as big as the stamina increase.

* This takes into account that fact that Exhaustion lets you set the initial caps above 100%, so you can gain some exhaustion without losing stats. As such, there is no need to set caps to 100% to maximize stat growth - even exhaustion that doesn't eat into your stats will cause stat growth when you sleep.

Exhaustion - Incremental Fatigue - core requirement.
The Uncapper - If you want to disable (or adjust) vanilla stat growth on leveling up. For an exercise-only playthrough you need to set HealthAtLevelUp, MagickaAtLevelUp, StaminaAtLevelUp and CarryWeightAtStaminaLevelUp to 0.
SkyUI - for the MCM.

Download and install through your mod manager of choice. It is safe to install on an existing save, but needs to be installed at the same time as Exhaustion for the MCM to work correctly. The plugin is ESL-flagged.

Check the update notes. Updates that change script properties will require a new game.

Safe to uninstall at any time, but your stat pools will be set in your save.

Performance impact

Compatible with everything except some mods that involve stat gains on level up. For Geometric Stat Growth there's a patch in the optional downloads. For mods like Limited Leveling, set the the values you want in the uncapper ini instead. For other such mods, ask in the comments.

Building Your Character - diverse and fun builds with strengths and weaknesses
Master of One - A perk overhaul that transforms perks from generic character progression into a means to craft unique and specialized builds.
Curse of the Firmament - A standing stones overhaul that emphasizes tough choices.
Legacy - A race overhaul that bring strengths and weaknesses to each race.
Acolyte - A progressive-yet-unobtrusive religion overhaul with a long path to divinity.

Enemies and Combat - challenging, varied and fair combat
Know Your Enemy (armor modulepatcher version) - A resistance and weakness overhaul for enemies and armors.
Know Your Enemy 2 (armor moduleintegration patch) - An upgraded resistance overhaul: more damage types, more configuration, more polish.
NPC Stat Rescaler - A patcher that adjusts player and NPC stats for faster, fairer, and less spongy combat.
Enemy Releveler - A patcher that adjusts NPC levels to truly delevel the world.

Stats and stat growth - drawing out character growth to stave off premature godhood
Exhaustion - Incremental Fatigue - An ultra-lightweight injury/fatigue system.
Exercise - Incremental Growth - An add-on for Exhaustion that converts fatigue into stat growth.
Geometric Stat Growth - Stats grow by a configurable percentage on level up, instead of a fixed value.

Challenging Spell Learning
 - Spell Tomes trigger a costly ritual you must pass to learn spells.
Trainers Galore - An expansion of the training system designed for "training only" leveling.
Pick Your Poison - An alchemical handbook to support strategic foraging.
Configurable Perks Per Level - An MCM to edit how many perk points you get on level up.
XP Editor - A patcher that adjusts xp gain and leveling.
Sightseer - Standing Stones - Guidebooks for the standing stones, collectibles to find, and a hidden quest to unite them.

Mod Lists
Thoughtful Skyrim - A small, gameplay-focussed modlist that rewards preparation and planning.

Thanks to u/ThePikafan01 who suggested I make this. Thanks to u/DramatikPoni for creating the image used on this mod page.