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Don’t you just hate to miss out on the good things in life? My edgy question to you today is, are you sacrificing some of life’s best long-term benefits for cheap short-term comforts?

In terms of your health, we all know exercise is good for us, but why are we avoiding it? What makes us hit the snooze button, avoid the gym, or settle for a diet of Netflix when we could take a little bit of time to transform our health and our lives? One of the reasons that we avoid exercise, is that we do not see the long term benefits we will receive, for the 20-40 minutes of the potential “torture” we will have to endure.


1. Don’t Miss Out!

By avoiding some discomfort of exercise, are you missing out on these things?

  • More energy

  • Greater strength

  • Faster metabolism

  • Endurance in our daily activities, or to run a 5K race or even a marathon

  • Youthfulness and vibrancy both now and in our senior years

  • High quality of living

  • Solid bone density

  • Health benefits – healthy heart; low blood pressure; freedom from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer

  • Enjoyment of daily activities or still doing the activities you did 10-40 years ago, and without the struggle!

  • More confidence

  • Wearing the clothes that you love because you now look fabulous!

2. The Pain Principle

Pain is inevitable and unavoidable. It basically says that you will suffer one way or the other. In Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Never Go Back, he says:

“Anything of value has this rhythm to it: pain first, payoff later. If we face the pain early, the payoff will come. And the converse is true as well:If we avoid the pain now, the payoff will never come. And more pain will come.People who avoid pain will not get what they want. Period.”

In this case, we are talking about the early pain of exercise, and the payoff of great health, feeling good, and a high quality of living. The longer we put off exercise, the longer we prolong receiving the health benefits … and we will add MORE PAINS on top of that. If you think you’re getting out of the pains of exercise today, you will only be met with greater pains in the future. Avoiding the “pain” of exercise is just setting yourself up for different and worse pains in the long term.

Why not choose less pain today vs. more pain tomorrow, so you can cash in on all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle sooner rather than later?

Dr. Cloud goes on to say that life has a pretty consistent theme regarding pain:

“Pain always comes before pleasure, investment before profit, discipline before strength, exercise before health, study before a passing grade, and discomfort before healing.”

Essentially - suffer first, benefit later. We can’t avoid short-term pain if we are going to actually get, where we really want to go. Chances are, we really do want the long-term benefits and the truth is, we will have to overcome some short-term discomfort to get there.

3. Live in the Long Term.

Focus on what you really want in life – What are the things you REALLY want in terms of your health and fitness? How will your life be different when you are living in your vision of health and fitness?

Some sacrifices are required, but you will get over the hump. It will get easier. Go through a bit of short-term discomfort and keep your mindset on the fantastic benefits you will receive in the long-term.

“Never go back to a pattern of avoiding short-term pain that is in the path to long-term benefit.” – Dr. Henry Cloud

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