words by Francesca Londoño-Brasington

It’s February, it’s cold and dark and frankly miserable. But for me, there is light at the end of the tunnel as I will soon be jetting off to sunnier climes, the current hotspot of the world; Brazil. And I can’t wait! However, the thought of being surrounded by Giselle-like beauties on the beaches of Rio has sent me into a bikini panic and on an intense mission to shed my festive plumpness.

I am prepared to try anything and everything on my bikini body pursuit! I was therefore delighted to be invited to trial a Swedish Fit class. Just the words, ‘Swedish Fit’ conjured up images of blonde, long-limbed, Swedish beauties. I must admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, it all sounded a little ominous. However upon researching Swedish Fit I soon discovered it is a huge craze in the rest of Europe, starting in France over 20 years ago it now has over 500,000 members. Although the video looked a little ‘happy clappy’ to me, I was certainly intrigued.

Upon arrival, rushing from a powerplate class through a snowy London, I was greeted by Marie one of the volunteers who was incredibly friendly and welcoming which certainly put me at my ease. As I learned, all the Swedish Fit team are unpaid volunteers from different walks of life and are approachable and easy going.  The majority of the class was made up of French girls (luckily no Swedish models) I felt as though I’d stumbled across a French ex-pat community.  Thankfully the class was in English or I may have struggled!

The class itself takes you back to basics, old school aerobics-esque workout: 60minutes including warm up, stretching, muscle building, cardio, running and always my favourite bit – relaxation time. There are no mirrors on the walls, therefore no self-scrutiny or constant feeling of judgement, which makes for a refreshing approach. This definitely helped me feel less self conscious whilst muddling up all the moves and bumping into my surrounding Swedish Fitters!  It really is a no-frills class, there are no mats on the floor and no shower facilities in the Soho branch so if you like your fancy equipment, this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for something fun and upbeat with a friendly crowd (who assure me they love to go to the pub afterwards) definitely give it a go! It is probably one of the most affordable exercise classes I have come across in London, £5 per class or £40 for ten. Plus my aching muscles prove it certainly works!

Click here for more information on Swedish Fit.

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