Lovisa Sandström is an entrepreneur and one of Sweden's most famous and hired fitness experts. She runs the largest and most influential blog about exercise and an active lifestyle in Sweden.
Fitness Break Itinerary - Stockholm
Fitness Break - Blog Post #1 by Lovisa Sandström
I was born in Stockholm and live in the trendy Södermalm neighbourhood, just a few metres from my childhood home. I absolutely love the Swedish capital! It's a wonderful place to live and work and the only city in the world that makes me feel so calm and content. But I also travel a lot as well, and I love to discover other parts of the world. I'm definitely not your typical traveller, though. I always try to maintain an active lifestyle when I visit new places - I seek out nice gyms, good running trails, cool spots for exciting adventures, etc.
I've put together a few suggestions for an active and exciting day in the Swedish capital, made up of five different activities. Here they are:
I usually start the day with a morning jog around Södermalm. My favourite route takes you down through the lovely Tantolunden Park, round by the outdoor swimming pool at Årstaviken Bay, onto the beach promenade towards Eriksdal and then along the canal opposite the Hammarby Sjöstad Harbour Development. You then continue on past the most remote corner of my little island over by the Viking Line Terminal, past the London Viaduct, the Stadsgårdskajen Quay and finally onto the beautiful Söder Mälarstrand Path right on the water's edge. Keep going until you pass the tiny Långholmen and Reimersholme Islets, and then ... you're back where you started! Most of the legs of this route are very pretty and the course is safe and easy to run - and since you follow the waterline the entire time, it's easy to stay on track even if you're not familiar with the city.
Step count: 10 km, 12,000 steps
Stockholm is also a very nice city for cycling. I recommend hiring one of the city's rental bikes and going for a ride. Start at Skanstull station, cross through Södermalm and Gamla Stan, speed through the hustle and bustle of the inner city and then wrap it all up in the beautiful and tranquil Hagaparken park, where the Crown Princess lives (a great park for running too, by the way!).
My third fitness tip for visitors to Stockholm who want to get some exercise without missing out on all the city has to offer is to go on the Millennium Tour, which follows in the footsteps of Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salandar from the popular Swedish crime series. You can either do this as part of an organised tour, like the one led by Stockholm's Stadsmuseet (City Museum), or do it on your own using free maps that are available online. The tour will take you down winding alleyways and up steep roads past spectacular homes, and you'll get some stunning views over the city. This is me outside Mikael Blomqvist's house at Bellmansgatan 1. It's a proper hike that will strengthen your legs!
Step count: 3 km, 3,100 steps
Another beautiful little route can be found on the island of Skeppsholmen. You can take the Djurgård ferry there from Slussen. On the way over you'll enjoy an incredible view of Stockholm from the water that always seems to make me weak in the knees - it's just that pretty! Once you're on the island, stroll through the artsy historical district, past the music studio owned by ABBA star Benny Andersson and up to the Skeppsholmen Hotel, which is the perfect spot to enjoy a nice lunch (or a nice breakfast if you arrive early).
I would also recommend stopping to check out their cool exhibit on female heroines, "Sisterhood Saints" by Elin Eplet Sandström, which is on display through to the end of Spring. When you're ready to head back to the centre, you can either pass by the Royal Swedish Museum (Nationalmuseum) and the Grand Hotel or, if you prefer, take the ferry straight back to Slussen station.
Step count: 2.5 km, 2,600 steps
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My fifth tip for a fitnessbreak in Stockholm is to do what I like to call Gamla Stan in 20 Minutes. This is a power walk that takes you over rolling terrain and past a host of spectacular homes and charming alleyways. I usually start on the steps of the Royal Palace and go up to the Storkyrkan Church, the Stortorget Square and the Nobel Centre, then on to the Tyska Badet Swimming Pool and down through the winding alleyways over to the Riddarholmskyrkan Church, where I stop to wave at my publisher in the beautiful, historic Norstedtshuset Building. I then pass by the stately Riddarhuset Palace before wrapping things up back at the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) again, but this time on the north side by the Swedish House of Parliament (Riksdagshuset), and the Royal Opera (Kungliga Operan) - such a wonderful stroll!
Step count: 1.8 km, 2,000 steps
During the course of the day, I wore a Fitbit Activity Tracker which accurately counted the number of steps walked. In total I managed to rack up 19,700 steps - proof positive that my mind and body benefited considerably from such an active approach! :)