Let's talk about SATS, baby...
There’s definitely an outsiders perception that Swedes are all 6ft, clean living gym bunnies with perfectly symmetrical features and long blonde locks. They’re the nation we look up to for many reasons, from their breathable air to their practical recycling systems, and their health & fitness industry is certainly up there on the list.
When first arriving in Stockholm, I was actually quite surprised by the lack of sexy boutique gyms that I was expecting to discover on the corner of every gata. Instead, research provided me with a roster of chains that felt inclusive and family friendly… words I wasn’t hoping to associate with my new workout sanctuary. Perhaps I’d been spoiled from years of flitting between stints on Class Pass and a membership at Frame.
Back in London, yoga was always my ‘thing’. I found it was the only form of exercise that occupied my brain in the same way as all those dance classes from my youth. But the Scandi studios didn’t feel like the right fit, perhaps something to do with the sky-high prices…
So, after much deliberation and discussion with the husband, I settled on a SATS membership. They’re a huge brand in Sweden, so I joined the one local to us in Huddinge with the expectation that it would do, for now.
Well didn’t I feel like a dingus when I realised that SATS is actually awesome. As you enter, the place just looks like a regular gym with cardio machines lined up like soldiers in front of tilted tellies showing CSI circa 2005. But actually the equipment is all new and premium, and there’s plenty of it… so no hanging about waiting to use the one battered old medicine ball. There’s definitely an in-crowd here, men and women giving each other the ‘nod’ before swinging about on the monkey bars or lifting a weight the size of a 2 bed bungalow. Just watching them is enough to make me feel like a contestant on the Crossfit Games (minus the body, strength and surname ending in -dotter).
That said, SATS really is inclusive. There’s everyone from super athletes, golden oldies, after-schoolers, selfie takers, I even spotted a mum and her tween daughter taking a Monday night PT session together. I now fit in the ‘couples that workout together’ category, as I’ve been going with my husband 4 nights a week. Lucky for me, he’s a brilliant motivator and knows what he’s doing with the scary looking machines that I’d usually avoid. It’s safe to say I have restored my vigour for working out and I don’t think it’s just the January guilt talking. We walk (crawl) out of SATS with a cocktail of accomplishment and endorphins that’s enough to keep us coming back for more.
As for the yoga… I’ve opted for practicing in the house and I’m getting ready to put together a little homespun studio in the conservatory. Watch this space for more on that to come!