I love this via NYMag (bold by me):
While the traditional benefits of vigorous exercise — like prevention and treatment of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and osteoporosis — are well known and often reported, the most powerful benefit might be the lesson that my coach imparted to me: In a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice suffering.
Just think upon that last line for a bit. Fascinating, right?
We are all trying to optimize our lives around the things that make us most comfortable. Think about most (if not all) of the decisions that you make throughout the week – it’s probably decisions made with a very simple motivation: I want my life to be easier, pain-free, and without fear.
Exercise is a simple way to break that pattern, even if it’s for a moment. I think that’s important.