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Different exercise habits

You have probably thought about your own exercise habits. Are you athletic or just average? Or maybe not that athletic? Have you ever thought that your own exercise habits influence how you instruct your child to exercise?

Do you prefer to exercise alone or in a group, instructed or independently? Do you enjoy competing, exhausting yourself or just exercising gently? People with different exercise habits get motivated by different forms of exercise. Jaana Kari’s doctoral thesis presents seven different exercise habits.

Experience seeker

I value the experiences that exercise brings – those pleasant and enjoyable physical, mental, social or aesthetic experiences.

I’m COMFORT-SEEKING when it comes to exercise. I exercise at my own pace. External exercise goals and instructions make me feel anxious.

For me, exercise is a way to gain aesthetic, physical and social experiences. It also gives me an opportunity to be creative and express myself.

The amount I exercise may vary. I might get really enthusiastic about some meaningful form of exercise, but sometimes laziness takes over.

I’m more motivated to exercise when I’m “obliged” to exercise, such as when travelling to work or doing something physical. I like to be outdoors with my dog or my friends, to try and learn something new and exercise at my own pace.

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Health enthusiast

I value the fact that exercise helps me to take care of my health and promote my well-being.

I’m ENTHUSIASTIC when it comes to exercise. I have my own exercise goals which serve my own physical and mental well-being.

For me, exercise is a way to a good, healthy life.

I exercise regularly, and exercise is an integral part of my life.

I’m more motivated to exercise when I get to monitor and measure the health benefits and fitness progress that exercise brings.

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Hard worker

I value the amount of time spent on training and exercise – I want to exercise hard.

I am HARD-WORKING when it comes to exercise. I plan my exercise routines in advance. I measure and count them. Not exercising makes me feel guilty.

For me, exercise is a tool with which to achieve self-satisfaction.

Exercise is an important part of my life. Then again, if I suddenly have something more important to work on, I might not exercise much.

I’m more motivated to exercise when I create for myself a weekly schedule that includes exercise. I measure and count my results and enjoy the effort I put in. I reward myself with a day off planned in advance.

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Damaged by exercise

I value good exercise guidance and encouragement from a professional. My self-esteem regarding exercise has been damaged, and I’m poor at exercise.

I’m NOT ACTIVE when it comes to exercise. I like some forms of exercise. I’d like to find the spark to exercise more.

Exercise has brought me feelings of failure. Negative exercise experiences have made me consider my body inadequate.

I may exercise more than usual and even intensively if I get good guidance, encouragement and feelings of success.

I’m more motivated to exercise if I get good guidance an start with a form of exercise that doesn’t require special skills or good fitness. When I notice that I’m learning and making progress, I get more motivated. I need to get out of my comfort zone to get on the move.

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Competitor

I value exercise achievements and progress. I want to gain results and achieve things.

I’m PRETTY GOOD when it comes to exercise.

For me, exercise is a tool to achieve victories and success.

If exercise doesn’t bring me success or rewards, I might not exercise much. I might not even exercise at all. Competitions and achievements motivate me.

I’m more motivated to exercise when I monitor and analyse my health and the development of my skills. I have a target in mind. I can hire a coach or get a training mate to monitor my progress with.

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Producer

I value instructing exercise and motivating other people to exercise. Based on my own sporting achievements and skills, I’ve started to organize exercise sessions for others.

I’m ACTIVE when it comes to exercise. My exercise background is varied, and I like to exercise. I enjoy instructing and teaching exercise.

For me, exercise is a way to gather experiences and to feel competent, and training others brings me satisfaction.

Exercise is an important part of my life, but organizing exercise sessions may cause me to be less active.

I’m more motivated to exercise if I get to exercise during the sessions I organize for others.

 

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Sportaholic

I value almost everything about exercise. I love to exercise.

I’m a SPORTAHOLIC. All exercise forms motivate me. I always make sure I can exercise.

Exercise is a necessary and crucial part of my life – a way of life.

I exercise in many ways regardless of my life situation.

Loving exercise and having a strong relationship with it helps me to get motivated. I have no trouble going out and exercising!

Tulosta tästä (in Finnish)

Exercising with the child – a checklist for parents:

  • Try to identify your own exercise habits and the way they affect the exercise experiences you introduce to your child.
  • What is considered exercise in your family? Walking to the supermarket, rowing, walking in the forest and many other daily activities are all exercise.
  • Talk to your child about exercise in a positive way. You might like to follow the sports news or watch sports together with your child. As the children learn about exercise, their relationship with it will grow stronger and they will take more interest in it.
  • Accept that all categories of exercise habits are equal. Your child’s exercise habits may differ from yours – being different offers a possibility for both of you to strengthen your relationship with exercise.
  • Listen to your child and be aware of his/her activities. Introduce your child to different kinds of exercise experiences and note what kinds of exercise situations your child seems to enjoy. Compliment the child even for trying something.
  • Plan exercise sessions together with your child. This way you will respect your child’s exercise habits.
  • Broaden your child’s exercise habits by introducing different kinds of exercise situations. Children are most likely to lead an active lifestyle if they are allowed to exercise in many different ways and to find the forms of exercise they like. Children that are “competitors” should try the exercise habits of “the experience seekers”, and “the experience seekers” could learn from “the hard workers”.

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