Humans - we're an interesting bunch.  We evolved through tens of thousands of brutal years of hunting, gathering, migrating, defending, attacking, protecting, exploring, thinking and creating.

And now that we are king of the jungle, the apex predator, the alpha species, lord of all we survey, we don't have to do much of that any more........

Which is great!!!

Isn't it.......??

Turns out that avoiding discomfort is bad for us....

It's not just The Matrix that figured this out, real science has too; our bodies only adapt to stress and load and discomfort.

So the obvious advice you're expecting now, is something along the lines of no pain no gain, in reference to your workouts.

And yes, to some extent that is true, but we also talk a lot about how important simple movement is, and that not every workout should be full bore, scary and painful.

You may find that you've been avoiding discomfort in so many other ways - at home, at work, in relationships, during our question of the day.... 

Here are a couple of ways we can experience discomfort outside of the gym.

Entering in some event or adventure (Xterra series is on right now, there are a few people signed up for the Whanga Adventure race in August,  registration is open for the Tough Mudder in November, and I think there will be a few on board for some ocean swims in the new year!)

Taking on more responsibility at work (not saying you should become a full blown workaholic stress bucket, just that you might find yourself thriving under a little extra pressure, especially if it's something your believe in, with a result you could be proud of).

Exposing yourself to cold weather (I love our heat pump at home, but there's nothing quite like jumping in the ocean on a crisp winters day, or going for a run in the rain)

Making your bed, writing in a gratitude journal, avoiding social media in the morning.

Trusting your workout buddies to not judge your answer to any of our questions at the start of the workout.... saying "I don't have a favourite song" or "the same as Mary said" is simply avoiding discomfort.  Plus, we actually do want to know what you think.  That may be a little uncomfortable for you to know, but it's true.

Despite all of the above things being less than desirable places to hang out, the benefits are incalculable, not least of which is the sense of satisfaction and meaning you gain from overcoming them.

Darren Ellis