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Do you experience the joy of exercise? The joy of exercise belongs to everyone

Humans are made to move. Despite this, activities are being constantly replaced by tools and electronic systems that make things happen with the press of a button. This guides and accustoms us to immobility. To maintain good functional capacity throughout life, your body needs daily activity. You are more likely to do things that are meaningful to you, which is why it’s important to consider what kind of exercise brings you joy.

How to find the joy of exercise?

Exercising releases the feel-good hormone, but first, we have to get moving!

It's worth considering why some people exercise with a smile on their face, while for others, just the thought of sports makes them uncomfortable. If the latter sounds familiar and you are yet to discover your inner exerciser, you should approach sports from a new perspective. You may have started too hard, tried a too demanding sport or joined a group that doesn’t suit you for one reason or another. At its best, sports can be a pleasant social event, as long as you find a sport and group that suit you. So you should keep looking for your own thing, as the joy of exercise is out there for all of us. 

What kind of exerciser am I?

A good place to start is to self-reflect and think about what kind of exerciser you are. Do you prefer exercising when you feel like it or do you set a goal to work towards? Are you interested in testing your limits and challenging yourself or do you enjoy a more laid-back approach? Do you like to exercise with others? Perhaps with a friend or with an instructor in a group exercise class? Or do you prefer exercising on your own? One option is to try a personal trainer and follow a tailored training programme.

If getting started is the hardest part, you can start by increasing everyday activity: walk some of the way to work or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Various exercise styles and sports

After reflecting on your personal preferences, you can start thinking about different exercise styles and sports. Would you like to return to a sport you played when you were younger? There are plenty of hobby groups available that offer a fun way to meet new people. If you like guided exercise but also prefer your peace and quiet, try online classes. If your life is hectic, online classes are a lifesaver, as you save time from travelling. Diversity plays a key role in retaining the joy and meaningfulness of sport, and it is also important health-wise. By trying different sports and classes, you challenge and strengthen your body diversely. Slowly but surely, you notice how your skills and strengths develop, which motivates you to move.

Workout levels

It’s important to remember to keep the workout levels in check. Continuous hard workouts prevent the body from recovering. When the body doesn't get the rest it needs, training becomes too demanding, and you start losing the enthusiasm and joy to exercise. You should plan the number and load of your workouts to suit your everyday life so that you can create a routine that you can maintain. Variations in training load challenge and strengthen the body in a versatile manner, as do different sports. After an intense workout, it’s a good idea to do light exercise to allow the body to recover. This also ensures that the next exercise feels good.

The joy of exercise

The joy of exercise boils down to moving at a level and style that suit you and ensure recovery. This allows you to see your capabilities and experience success, which in turn brings a good mood and improves your energy reserves. Self-reflection helps you find the perfect sport or way of moving for you, as there is one for everyone.

It doesn't matter whether the exercise is light or heavy, goal-oriented or mood-based, as long as it’s meaningful to you.

Happy exercising!

Viivi Avikainen
Sports advisor, professional coach, 100m hurdler