Making exercise a habit

While I have (more or less) mastered the routine of eating healthy, I still struggle greatly with incorporating exercise into my daily schedule. I love to run, once I get outside. But in the morning, I'll find any excuse not to get out of bed and venture into the cold (or rain, or slush, or sunshine, or whatever else seems to be a good reason to avoid getting up). 

Thus, I'm constantly seeking tips on how to make exercise a regular part of my routine. I've found a very inspirational and simple blog called Zen Habits, which has lots of ideas on how to make exercise a daily habitAnd I also love to hear from people in my life who have the same goal. Below is some advice from Teagan, an ecologist in Montana who is a long-time runner and biker. In 2008, she completed a 2,300 mile bike ride from the Yukon to Yellowstone National Park (see this article to read more about her trip). She talks about the importance of making exercise a part of your life, in the same way that eating and sleeping are mandatory activities:

Combine things you love with exercise. 

If you're a competitive sort, schedule a weekly game of racquetball or basketball. If the social aspect appeals to you, find a group of friends to exercise with. You can have a different friend and different activity for each day of the week. If you love exploring, go for a long bike ride around places you don't normally see. If you're inspired by a scenic view, find a trail or route near a natural area.

Diversify your activities. 

While it's great to commit 100% to one thing, say running, it can be super hard on your body to subject it to the same stresses every day for months or years. If you can find activities that challenge different parts of your body, your overall fitness and enjoyment will benefit.

Be flexible. 

It can sometimes be hard to do the same activity based on seasonal changes, weather, and changing school or work schedules. Incorporate exercise into your class or work commute; run or walk there. Bike to a dinner party or to the store if you have a small list. Find a gym or indoor activity that you can frequent when the weather is cold or inclement. You can maintain a high level of fitness this way and also keep reduce stress on your body.

For more ideas on how to get moving, see Top 42 Exercise Hacks, or Developing an Exercise Routine, or Make Workouts Daily.