Many of us feel guilt and other negative feelings because we do not exercise enough. Increasing the amount of exercise is a major lifestyle change, and it can feel like a constant battle against ourselves and the circumstances. A frustrating internal battle makes exercise even less tempting. This is not how it should be!
This spring, the Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) has joined Zone sports services in the capital region in piloting a new kind of exercise advice service which focuses on values and acceptance. In this model, students are offered exercises which help them increase the amount of sports they do through a compassionate and accepting way of thinking which is based on the person’s own values. In a best-case scenario, this will lead to a situation where the feelings and thoughts which prevent a person from exercising (such as the harmful thought that it is only worth exercising if we do it hard enough and for long enough) are highlighted and processed with a professional so that they no longer affect the person’s behaviour.
The three and a half month guidance period provided a great deal of information on how suitable this approach is for the higher education context. The reception by our clients was very positive: 92 per cent of them felt that the contents of the service matched their expectations fairly or very well.
In 2019, OLL will continue to develop this model, and we would welcome the input of anyone interested in improving university sports. We would be happy to provide more information on the pilot’s results, insights and the upcoming development work – do not hesitate to get in touch!
Anni Liina Ikonen, Special Advisor for University Sport: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +35844 7800 219