Month: August 2017

Politicians as exercisers – President of Finland leads the way

President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, was recently invited by President Donald Trump to visit White house. Meeting took place couple of days ago and was widely in the news worldwide. Funny things happened during the press conference as reported for instance by the New York Times, but also very nice and informative stories were published discussing the meeting and other things.

Presidents maybe did not have time to discuss their exercise habits, so I must let you know that Niinistö is known to be very active exerciser during his leisure time. He likes particularly roller skating and being 69 years old, he shows good example for all of us that even quite demanding sports are doable no matter what is your age. Niinistö is a lawyer (graduated from the University of Turku where I am currently working) and former treasurer of Finland who during the late 1990s was an important person to fix the economical situations in Finland for the better. Many Finns love him because in contrast to some other politicians, he is very down-to-earth and modest person with facts always checked. Exercising in public on roads and not in luxurious private gyms must be part of his down-to-earth attitude, which has made him very popular national figure.

However, Niinistö is not the only Finnish politician who shows good example keeping up with fitness goals despite their demanding jobs and busy schedules. One good example is also our former finance, foreign, and prime minister Alexander Stubb, who does physically very demanding things such as triathlons. Stubb was also recently elected as a chairman of Crisis Management Initiative established in 2010 by Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari. Despite of new duties and responsibilities, I am sure that exercise continues to be an important part of his daily life. Good stuff, that is what all our leaders should be doing!

Nordic walking – great exercise!

I recently wrote about the benefits and enjoyment that roller skiing can provide, but if you are hesitating to roll along on wheels, trying nordic walking could also be an option. Skiers use nordic walking (or running with poles) a lot and that is part of the reason why they are so fit. They have done that already for several decades, but Nordic walking started to become more and more popular also among the general people in Finland and other Nordic countries some 20-30 years ago. Today and tomorrow there is therefore a seminar in Finland celebrating 20 years of Nordic walking in Finland as a part of Finland’s 100 years of independence celebrations. Nordic walking is also perfect way to get fit as it is truly whole body exercise, which is the reason why it is also very good for your health. Therefore, it is a good idea to take ski poles with you next time you are having a walk!

Roller skiing- what a perfect way to get fit!

Cross-country skiing is well known to be one of the best exercises to get fit and improve health. Cross-country skiing activates basically all of your muscles (legs, gluts, abdomen, back and arms etc.), and thus creates great metabolic and circulatory demands for whole body simultaneously, which is the reason why it increases fitness very effectively. An indication of this is that world’s best cross-country skiers are known to have the highest maximal oxygen consumption values of all human beings. Cross-country skiing requires snow, but skiing can be done also by roller skiing, which is enjoyable and perfect way to exercise particularly during summer time. An interesting thing also is that skiing not only activates your skeletal muscles, but also your brain.

Roller skiing is enjoyable exercise activity and perfect way to be outside and get fit!

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The views expressed on this website do not neccasarily reflect the views of University of Turku or other institutions or organisations Dr. Heinonen represents.