I have started doing physical exercises on a regular basis again. I didn’t really do much since the first Covid wave. Only walks in the forest and in winter occasionally ice-skating or cross-country skiing. You can imagine how destroyed I am after each training and how painful my muscles and basically all body are. But it’s good pain and I feel after all less tired and with much more energy.
I used to do a lot of organised sports since my childhood. First, it was swimming for a few years, then karate, but I became a big volleyball enthusiast in the end. And I played volleyball from 11 till I finished my university studies. It’s always surprising how much the muscles and body remember. If you once used to do sport regularly, your body will get back into the rhythm very quickly. Because it’s nothing new. Also, the endorphins do the trick and as more you sport, the more you want to continue.
There are different types of physical exercise and I believe everyone can find something that would work for them. Me, for example, I have never liked to exercise alone, e.g. at home. I need to change the environment and I also need the group pressure. I need to see there are other people sweating but challenging themselves. I am also not good at calm exercises, such as yoga. I was bored every time I tried it. Monotonous exercise such as running doesn’t work for me as well. Therefore after I closed the volleyball chapter in my book, I started with different group exercises. I can imagine myself trying also some team sports, where jumping is not important. I am competitive and I like the adrenaline when you play against someone else 🙂
But why I am describing this all in detail? I simply realise how much sports gave me.
- Regularity, routine and regime: I simply had my schedule. I knew when and where I had my trainings; when and where we had tournaments or matches. I had to wake up sometimes at 5.00 am to be at 9.00 am in a different region for the match. My time had a structure and I got used to it. And it was never boring, even though it repeated week by week, year by year.
- Social skills: Being part of a team, together with many different people, with various personalities is a good school itself. One has to learn how to deal and cope with people who might not be my “blood group”. But I am there, at the playground with them and we want to reach the same goal.
- Learn to win and to lose: Oh, in every team I played, we were mostly losing 🙂 But it is also important to learn. Accept that even though you did the best you could at the moment, it was not enough and someone was better. And despite, you put yourself together and came for another training and another tournament. Because you just loved the game, not the results.
- Perseverance: This connects maybe everything mentioned above. Everyone who does sports must be persistent. To dress and do something on time and regularly regardless of anything.
- Team membership and sense of belonging: every team, and every club is a small community. With the proper leadership, members feel appreciated and welcome. Nothing stresses belonging more than wearing the same dresses, shouting the same slogan or facing together wins, falls, turns and twists. For many, membership in a sports team can be the first experience with friendship, positive role models and respecting authorities.
In Finland are many organised sports opportunities that are affordable. In the Metropolitan area operate e.g.:
- Sporttia kaikille – that provides endless possibilities to try different sport activities for children and adults for a minimal fee (about 45 euros per ½ year).
- Operaatio Pulssi! – free of charge activities (sport included) for children and young people between 12 – 18 years old.
- Syke – in many municipalities works so-called “Syke” or “Liikuntaseura”, which would be translated probably as the exercise clubs. They offer various group sports activities for affordable prices. You can easily google them as e.g. Espoon Syke or Tuusulan Syke, etc.
- Aikuisopistot – Adult Education Centres also provide many opportunities for physical exercises for a reasonable price.
- Financial support – the bigger clubs often offer a scholarship or other financial support for children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds. The idea is that everyone who wants should have the opportunity to practise sport. Check this option with the club your child would be interested to join.
To sum up, sport is a great investment in your personal development, not to mention health benefits. If you are thinking about starting a new hobby, choose some sport activity: for you, for your children, for the whole family. Don’t have expectations, that your children will be professional athletes because this is most likely not happening. But you will give them something else for their life. Experiences and skills will form their personality and help them in their future life in so many different situations.