As an Italian who has moved to northern Europe, I have been impressed by quite a few things. For instance, I have seen that surprisingly the use of an umbrella is not so popular despite rain and snow are daily experiences. In the winter it can be dark both when you go to and come back from work, which gives you the strangest feeling that that day the sun has forgotten to rise. And in those rare sunny days, whatever activity people are doing seems to lose its importance because people simply rush outdoors to enjoy the sunlight (not the heat, because that does not necessarily come along with a sunny day).
However, I have to say that the most impressive thing I have seen in both Sweden and Norway is the people exercising outdoors no matter the rain, the snow, the wind, the cold or the dark. Come on, seriously! How is it possible to run outside in these conditions?
This was my first thought. Where do people find such a strong will? Where does that determination come from in those days when I would rather stay home watching a movie while eating a chocolate bar? However, I realize that if people had to wait for the perfect weather conditions to run outdoors, chocolate would probably take over.
I have to confess that even though I have been living in Scandinavia for more than two years, I still can’t find the motivation for training outside during the winter. But the positive spirit of Scandinavian people has definitely influenced me to find my motivation. If I have decided to live here I just cannot let my health be dependent on the weather! The outcome would be quite disastrous. Therefore, whenever I cannot find the motivation, I simply remind myself that there are so many different ways to keep fit and surely I can think of a fun way to exercise that is more suitable for my needs. My solution is dancing: it is an indoor group activity which is extremely fun, gives me the chance to meet new people and pushes me to overcome my laziness since skipping one class would make me stay behind the rest of the group.
Nowadays, everyone is aware of the fact that physical training is beneficial for our health at many different levels, and yet a high number of people are inactive because they do not like to exercise, they do not have time to exercise or simply they do not have determination because they do not find their motivation.
What is stopping you from exercising? How can you circumvent the problem? What motivates you? What kind of activity suits you best?
Find you motivation: it is guaranteed that if your life is more active, that piece of chocolate tastes even better!
Simona Salerno, phd student at CERG