"I love the smell of birch leaves in the sauna"


3 minutes

Susan Lanefelt has been active in the health and wellness industry for 50 years. Today, she leads training sessions several days a week and feels more energetic and stronger than ever. Sauna bathing is one of her favorite leisure activities.  

Well known as a training instructor and from television’s Let's Dance program Susan Lanefelt is the embodiment of health. Sixty-nine years old, she bubbles of energy and sees each new day as a new adventure. She has no intention to lower her activity level with increasing age; on the contrary.

- When you love what you do there really is no limit, she says. Let's Dance is one of the best things I've done in my entire life - I love dancing! I exercise every day and I’m conscious of what I eat. Susan eats lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grain bread and fatty fishes. And, when she feels like it, the occasional soft ice cream with caramel sauce.

Susan emphasizes the importance of balance in life; to take care of both your body and soul. Her advice to other senior citizens is not to underestimate themselves.

- We can manage more than we think! Use resistance to train your body muscles. You don’t have go to the gym, just use stones from the forest walk as weights. But muscles are perishable, so "use them or loose them".

Susan loves to take long walks with her dog in the woods and fields. Tranquility is important. Peace and quiet, where thoughts can come and go as they please.

– I love sauna bathing. I love the silence, the heat and the sound of a cracking fire.

Aesthetics are important and Susan appreciates a minimalistic and light design. Scents also mean a lot to her.

 I've learned to tie bundles of birch twigs, Finish style. I then use them to gently beat my skin in the sauna. The scent is so invigorating, it stimulates the blood flow and has a fantastic over all effect, she says.  



Photographer: Charles Hammarsten