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This Live Well post is the first guest post by my very dear and extraordinarily talented friend Lindsay Goodridge:

These are some things I know to be true:

Getting back into exercise is hard!

Maintaining an active lifestyle that is balanced and not made of rules is hard!

Exercising when things hurt or when you’re recovering from an injury is hard!

Choosing to get off the couch… is hard!!

So why would you do it?

That’s the question I ask myself when I’m sitting on the couch – comfy, cozy, having an intimate cryfest with McDreamy.  Why would I want to get myself off the couch and into my gym clothes and down the hall to the gym?  (Yes. Down the hall… I don’t even get the luxury of the “it’s raining” excuse.)

Before I answer that, I should give you a little background.  I have a degree in Human Kinetics, I used to be a personal trainer, and I had a brief stint as a PE teacher. Presently, I am 3 months into my recovery from a knee ACL replacement making me a regular at the physiotherapist’s office. I’m also motivating my recovery by training for a ½ Ironman happening in June and, perhaps most importantly, I love helping others find way to be active!  Before you stop listening to me, you need to know that I also used to be an awkward, super tall, lazy kid with a huge blond afro who likely never would have done anything requiring sweating if my best friend hadn’t signed me up for basketball in grade 2.  That lazy kid still lives in my brain and shows up daily to try and bribe me out of workouts with extra cheesy nachos or fries with mayo!  Mmmmm…

As a trainer, and in my general life, people ask for advice or help being more active.  After years of trying to sign them up, give them programs, make them follow rules, have them check in… I simply ask them one question now.  “Why would you want to?”  The answer is usually because my legs wobble, or I feel fat, or I should be more healthy.  But that’s not really answering the question.  Forget “shoulding” on yourself, why do YOU want to exercise?

I ask myself as I sit here on the couch… “Why would I want to get off the couch and exercise?” The answer for me is because I feel better when I exercise, my mood is better, my digestive system works better, I’m closer to that weight that makes my clothes feel good and it makes me feel more confident.  I also want to be the person that does their physiotherapy exercises and follows through with a commitment that I made to myself.  And when I put it that way… how can I not get off the couch?

So… why do you want to exercise?

Next from Lindsay:  Starting a running program

You can find other posts in the Live Well series here.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012