Should I skip working out and eat a pizza instead? Why not? It’s not like it’s gonna hurt me. I may feel a little groggy and bloated, but I won’t be in any immediate pain or experience life shattering trauma, right?
When we’re young, we learn that touching a hot stove is dangerous to our health, because when we do it we experience extreme pain. This immediate feedback lets us know that we shouldn’t ever do that again. Good lesson to learn.
It’s difficult for most people in our society to justify spending money on a gym membership, or committing the time and resources necessary to plan out and eat healthy meals. There’s no strong immediate feedback that tells us that laying on the couch and eating that pizza is hurting us. Our bodies are incredibly adaptive. They can handle a pizza and a lazy day now and then, so there’s no reason to send pain signals to our brains to remind us to never do this again.
We need to constantly be reminded that the investment we make in ourselves now, pays off in huge dividends in the future. How much are you going to spend on a gym membership over the next 50 years? How much will that double bypass surgery cost? What about all the time you’ll have lost to doctors appointments and being sick?
I’ve previously written about why strong people are more useful in general, but they also live longer and lead more fulfilling lives. The problem is that it’s difficult to overcome the immediate urge to be lazy because we can’t relate to our future selves. We need to start thinking long term.
Those deadlifts are gonna come in handy when your grandkids come to visit.
Squatting now will save you a lot of embarrassment when firefighters have to break down your bathroom door and pull you off of the toilet because you don’t have the strength to stand up (True story: this is a big reason people are moved into retirement homes).
Your career will be more likely to progress through the years if you’re not constantly out sick or too tired to give 100%.
Invest in your health now. Your future self will thank you for it.