Physical Activity is valuable because of it’s potential to teach you life lessons on multiple levels. For one thing, it teaches you what you can achieve when you work hard. Because fitness goals are something that can be quantifiable, you can measure your progress and see your results more easily than other goals like “I want to get better at cooking” because whether your cooking is good more subjective than whether your mile time was under 8 minutes.
The next thing it teaches you is humility because hard work does not always translate into results. Generally people growing up with exercise experience the following:
You work an equal amount every year and as your body grows so do your skills, amplifying the effects of your work and making you think it’s because of your hard work.
As you age you get better and better until you reach your peak age of physical fitness. Then you work the exact same amount and you stop improving.
Then you work the exact same amount and you start getting worse and worse due to age.
As a result, you can experience being better than others simply because of your age, and you can experience being worse than others simply because of your age. Thus you learn to appreciate what you have when you have it, and you learn that not everything is inside your control: while your ability and success are related to your hard work, they are not directly correlated.
Physical Activity also teaches you patience and long term (it’s a marathon not a sprint) thinking because no matter how much you want to build your muscles and how hard you work out at the gym today, they will only grow so fast. And if you get impatient and overwork them then you will get injured.
Injuries teach you how to handle setbacks because in life you will meet many setbacks and how you respond to them and stay the course will largely impact your success in life. Injuries also teach you about limitations because you are limited in some respects and understanding those limitations will help you live a better life, make better decisions, and teach you how to overcome obstacles because a limitation is an obstacle, but there are often ways around it. Perhaps you realize your limit for exercise is 2 hours a day and any more than that then you will suffer more physical pain. Many will get stuck at this obstacle, but others will discover: it’s because I’m not resting enough after exercise, or getting enough nutrition, sleep, etc., that I have this limit, and if I improve at resting and recovery, then I can increase my capacity for exercise to 3 hours a day or more. As such, Physical Activity teaches you how to take care of yourself, which is the first step in knowing how to take care of others.