Friskis & Svettis: Healthy & Sweaty!

Last night I attended my first Friskis & Svettis class, and I must say it was a wonderful experience. I think I found it when googling Swedish language classes in London (I do this every so often on a whim, then stop myself because I should probably re-find my French before I embark on a language I will never be able to pronounce), and toddled along to a class on a Tuesday evening, after emailing to check I could just turn up (I received a very cheerful response telling me to just turn up, and the first class is free!)

The idea of a fitness class where everyone stands in a circle facing each other and dancing around to music sounded like fun, and I wasn’t disappointed. According to the website, this form of exercise has been around for years in Scandinavia and is quite big in France, and has been gaining momentum in the UK over recent years. True to form the class I went to had what seemed to be a split between French and Swedish people, I may well have been the only native Brit!

A girl I met before the class advised that I should not worry too much about the ‘harms’ this time (French) and focus more on the legs. I confess I thought to myself, ‘pah, how hard can it be’, but soon realised I’m not nearly as coordinated as I thought I was, thanks to the mirrors in the studio. Luckily they’re a friendly bunch and I didn’t feel the least bit ridiculous when my arms were going in different directions to everyone else’s.

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The idea is that you do a combination of cardio and muscular exercises to give a total body workout or as they put it a “possibility for fun, versatile, efficient and high quality exercising for everyone: women and men, young and old, less trained and well trained.” It’s so inclusive! And the best part: “Friskis & Svettis is a non-profit organisation; all operations are run by volunteers. They are not paid for their work, they are rewarded with happiness and joy” Happiness and Joy! One can only dream of being paid in happiness and joy, how can you possibly not enjoy something founded on these values.

I love being active, but sometimes I lack the motivation to exercise for the sake of exercising, and team sports often require the commitment I can’t offer with my job (ok fine, I don’t want to commit in case something more fun comes up) but these classes might well be a compromise.

Next time I’m taking a friend so they can enjoy it too. Swedish fun for all! Now I’m going to rest my muscles…

Anna

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