OLL President Joonas Suikula shares his favourite tips for an active summer. Some of these tips are also suited to students with summer jobs. What is your favourite way to stay active in the summer?
Go for a swim and/or head to the beach
Most towns have some sort of swimming facility or body of water where you can escape the heat of the summer. Swimming is also a great way to work on your fitness as it is such a comprehensive sport.
Beaches are often excellent places to play beach volleyball and other ball games. When you’re off for a swim, you can also bring a frisbee or an American football to throw around. After a game it’s nice to jump in for a refreshing dip. Stand up paddle boarding is also worth trying as it’s an awful lot of fun!
Have a game of disc golf
Disc golf is constantly gaining in popularity. Every year dozens of new courses are opened all over Finland. The majority of courses are free to use, and buying the discs isn’t a huge investment.
This is a laid-back sport that is fairly easy to learn. It will however take you a long time to master it, which is part of what makes it so addictive. Get hold of a few discs and get together a group of friends for an enjoyable summer’s day! You can find courses here (in Finnish).
Take a hike
Finland is full of amazing hiking terrain, beautiful national parks and thousands of lakes. Just grab your backpack and head to the nearest national park for a day trip! In Southern Finland, you can also get to many national parks by bike or public transport. Or why not pack a large backpack and get the train to Lapland for a longer hike? You can find hiking trails on the Metsähallitus website here and Finnish bivouacs (laavu) to sleep in here.
If your legs aren’t fit for hiking, just like the knee of the writer, you could always hire a kayak and explore the local waterways. Lakes Saimaa and Päijänne are also fantastic places to go kayaking. The Finnish nature is unbelievably beautiful seen from the water, and paddling is a nice form of exercise. If it’s your first time, I recommend you stick to sensible distances as paddling is surprisingly hard work. You can find the best routes through kayak hire companies.
Go for a bike ride or a walk
The summer is the perfect time to be outdoors. So, jump on a bike or get on your feet and explore your local area. You could visit some local museums or get a group together, find a nice spot and have a picnic.
Working this summer?
Summer jobs can roughly be divided into office jobs and more physically demanding jobs. You can easily apply all these tips to your own workplace and make use of the most suitable ones in your work.
When working in an office, you should pay attention to taking breaks from sitting as well as your working position. Problems with the neck and shoulders are especially common. Also pay particular attention to the correct height of your screen and the positioning of your hands. Basically: set up your workstation correctly. Getting the ergonomics right makes the work more comfortable and efficient in the long run.
It is best to cycle or walk to work whenever possible. Also take the stairs instead of the lift. This is a great way to add exercise into your day almost without noticing it. If you are in a physically demanding job, remember to lift in the proper way. If you are standing at your workstation all day, try to change position to keep your blood flowing. You shouldn’t spend too long in the same position. The human body was made to move.
You should invest in good shoes or at least good insoles as they make standing more comfortable. It is also easy to find insoles that suit a student budget. This is also worth bringing up with your employer. You might get a pair of work shoes simply by asking!
Ergonomics is always worth considering while working. A summer job is just a summer job, and you shouldn’t sacrifice your body for it. Working life is like a marathon, and summer jobs are only the warm-up. So, remember to look after yourself!