Iceland has a health-positive image and for good reason, as there are many fitness trends on the island that are unique and enjoyable. While there are always endless hiking trails that cross the landscape waiting to be explored for your fix of adventurous exercise, here are 10 other fitness trends for you to enjoy.
Húlladúllan is a one-woman hula-hooping organization that offers a variety of different events and classes in Iceland and abroad. You can find Húlladúllan teaching classes at the gym, teaching hula-hooping to children interested in the circus arts, and at open sessions held in public spaces throughout the summer.
African dance classes are offered at Kramhúsið, a yoga and dance studio in downtown Reykjavik. The classes are based on West African drumming rhythms and features live drummers during the open jam session at the end of each class. Not only is it an enlivening workout, but the moves can also be taken from the dance studio to the club.
Also offered at Kramhúsið are classes for beginners and intermediate dancers in Argentinian tango. This energizing and sensual dance practice is a welcome activity on those long, cold, Icelandic winter nights. The Icelandic Tango Association also holds a yearly ball and a weekly open tango session in a café downtown.
Reykjavik has a lot to offer when it comes to yoga studios, with each studio offering a variety of styles and settings. With Iceland being the health-conscious nation that it is, yoga and other meditative practices have caught on quickly. There is also the opportunity to take multiple-day yoga tours of Iceland with a guided group. You can also check out the pop-up yoga that happens in the city center during the summertime.
The Tennis and Badminton Association of Reykjavik, or TBR, has a large arena in Reykjavik held in an old US Army barracks building. The playing courts can be rented throughout the week if you’d like to bring a group of people. Indoor fitness trends such as tennis and badminton are well-suited to the Icelandic weather, which can be notoriously harsh.
This fitness trend is composed of series of controlled movements that improve flexibility, strength, and endurance, with an emphasis on alignment, breathing, and balance. In Reykjavik, you can find classes at the privately run Mulberry studio or at Kramhúsið.
The famous Icelandic swimming pools will forever be popular fitness locations. These hydrothermal pools are open from very early in the morning to very late in the evening and are located in every small town, with multiple pools in Reykjavik itself. Each pool offers at least five lines for open swimming, and you can even find swimming lessons on offer.
Bollywood dancing, named after India’s Bollywood film industry, is a relatively new trend to come to Iceland. Offered at Kramhúsið, this fun cultural immersion activity is also a very social form of exercise. Each session of classes offered concludes with a public dance, complete with the best matching Bollywood outfits, of course.
With so much coastline, Iceland is obviously a great place to get into open-sea swimming. Although there are the obvious factors such as cold to overcome, you can be sure to find groups of determined individuals, especially in Reykjavik, who enjoy this revitalizing fitness regime. In Reykjavik, a popular place for sea swimming is Nauthalsvík, a public beach where a thermal spring releases warm water into the ocean. There is also a hot tub on the shoreline where you can get extra warm after your swim.
While not a fitness trend per se, nothing quite compares to the intensity of a night out dancing. In Reykjavik, you can find many places with great dance music that will keep your momentum going late into the night. From electronica to rock, you are bound to find something to keep you moving.