March 24, 2020

FIVE FROM FINLAND: Online exercise 

smartphone, a man and a woman
Keep fit wherever you are, thanks to these Finnish companies.
Julia Bushueva

The global coronavirus situation is placing greater emphasis on keeping fit in uncertain times. These five Finnish online services and mobile apps are designed to help keep people healthy. 

With so much on our minds at the moment, finding time to exercise can be a challenge. Luckily, people now can exercise when and where it suits them – from the comfort of their devices. 

Stay in shape with the help of this Finnish quintet. 

Cuckoo Workout 

This exercise break application is designed to encourage office workers and all those who tend to sit for too long during the day to stay active through fun exercise videos. The game-like app reminds users to take regular short breaks and get off their chairs. 

Since its founding in 2014, Cuckoo Workout has already helped thousands of people in over a dozen countries to get more fit, energised and productive. For companies, Cuckoo Workout is also a way to improve corporate culture and employer image. 

“Just like companies want to provide their employees with tools and practices that increase efficiency and make working easier, they ought to look after the wellbeing and motivation of their employees as human beings,” stressed CEO Veera Lehmonen. 

Yogaia 

With this Finnish mobile app that has enjoyed global success since its international launch in 2014, users can turn their living room into an interactive yoga studio. 

Yogaia aims to make physical activity a natural part of people’s lives by offering live online classes of yoga, Pilates, stretching and meditation. They range from five minutes to over an hour and are suitable for all levels of fitness and flexibility. 

“We offer easy access to dozens of live classes every week,” told founder and CEO Mikko Petäjä. “If you would like the instructor to see what you are doing, you just switch on your web camera. You can also watch recordings of the live classes whenever it suits you.” 

Nordic Fit Mama 

On a mission to help new mothers to recover from pregnancy, this online training course takes a holistic approach to women’s wellbeing. Bringing Finnish expertise in maternal healthcare within the reach of all mums, contributors to the service are trained professionals in relevant fields such as midwifery, nutrition and sexual health. 

Nordic Fit Mama provides new mothers with practical information on changes in their bodies and offers a wide range of safe and effective exercises to gently rebuild fitness and strength after giving birth. Moreover, the service has become an online community. 

“There are so many topics new mothers talk about with their peers,” noted founder and CEO Riina Laaksonen. “Receiving fact-based guidance from trustworthy sources will make the phase much smoother. Having a baby is about as life-changing as things get.” 

MarsMars 

This free mobile service powered by HeiaHeia is used by the Finnish Defence Forces to improve conscripts’ physical condition and boost their resilience prior to and during the compulsory military service. The app, however, can come in handy also for civilian users. 

MarsMars offers a number of training programmes for varying needs, such as strength, endurance and overall wellbeing. With its instructional videos, the app will also guide you along the way towards lasting lifestyle changes. 

“The service is open to anyone who wants to increase their physical fitness in their day-to-day life,” informed the Finnish Defence Forces.  

Break Pro 

Similar to Cuckoo Workout, this mobile platform designed by experienced physiotherapists is targeted mainly at office personnel and other professionals who are in need of reducing the physical burden of spending long hours sitting down. 

The Break Pro app motivates users to have regular breaks throughout the workday and offers one-minute exercise videos filmed on the shores of picturesque Finnish lakes.  

“During my physical therapy studies and later as I specialised as an occupational physical therapist, it became obvious to me that instead of passively treating clients a physical therapist can best promote their health by motivating them to exercise,” explained founder and CEO Janne Rajakallio. 

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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