Mamma Mia, here we go again. Exercise can often be a daunting task, leaving you crawling home from the gym with sore legs, feeling sorry for yourself. It doesn’t have to be that way though, you can definitely have fun whilst keeping fit and the latest craze just happens to involve cheesy pop music (and neon legwarmers if you really want to).
Having conquered Sweden, Norway, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Paris, Brussels and even Aberdeen, Swedercise is steadily growing as a popular and effective form of physical exercise. Also known as jympa, Swedercise is a concept based on music, the pleasure of movement and positive leadership to integrate all the essential elements of physical training such as warm-up, strength, stamina and relaxation. The training moves in curves, allowing your heart rate to change and adjust to the exercise. You’re taught in a large group of about 30 people, all in circle, with one instructor to help you keep up with the 7 step programme.
You begin with a warm up of slow and big movements to stretch your muscles and test agility, accompanied by relaxing music with a slow pace, then the cheesy Swedish pop is cranked up and the fun begins. Strength is tested with dynamic exercises for your stomach, back, arms, bottom and legs, moving in time with the music and producing a lot of sweat! You can choose between an easier or more difficult version of the exercises here, but it’s up to you to determine how hard you work during the session and what you want to get out of it.
Next your instructor will concentrate on the heart and lungs with running and jumping exercises to improve oxygen uptake, which again you can choose to walk and skip the jumping if it’s feeling a bit too vigorous. These exercises will also apply pressure on joints and muscles, making it a varied workout to suit all different types of people. After running and jumping your pulse will need to be lowered to its normal rate, which is aided by the calming and relaxing exercises of the warm down section. Built-up lactic acid from dancing to the tunes (and we’re wondering if Abba is involved) is expelled in the warm down and is followed by a good stretch to get your muscles back in shape.
The final stage of Swedercise is what they do best, relaxation. A time for body and soul, relaxation helps you to cool down and recover from any stress. Just don’t wear yourself out trying to get all that Lycra off...
If you find exercise can be too dull or you’re not leaving the gym feeling you got great benefits from a vigorous workout then Swedercise could be the next thing to try. Packed with great exercises to make sure you’re working hard as well as having a bit of fun with the music, the programme is designed to get a large group of people smiling and laughing together whilst burning 600+ calories in only 50 minutes.
Swedercise is the invention of Friskis&Svettis, an organisation founded in Stockholm who wanted to create a new form of exercise based on simple, natural movements done with timely and inspiring music. In total, around 500,000 people Swedercise 2-3 times a week with Friskis&Svettis.