Finding endorphins on Susanne’s island

It should be easy to live in a healthy way, maintains Susanne Dalsätt, Jönköping’s number one health personality. One of her best health tips is to get out in nature and be in the present, preferably on her paradise island, Visingsö.
Susanne Dalsätt is the personification of health. She runs long-distance races, has competed in the Ironman several times, produces her own organic muesli and is frequently enlisted as an inspirational speaker.

From couch potato to Ironmamma

That has not always been her life. When Susanne was 24, her doctor put her on notice that she lived in such an unsound way that she was risking her health. “I was a real couch potato and had an unwholesome diet. As a result, I was always tired and decrepit and had a perpetual sweet tooth. But when I got the word in black and white, I decided to come to grips with my life and find a healthy lifestyle that I’ve managed to maintain,” she recalls.

Susanne tried many things, but she knew she had found what was right for her when she ran the Stockholm Marathon for the first time after 27 weeks of rigorous training. “Then I knew that I would never stop running. And I haven’t either.”

No quick-fix, build from the ground up

Since that time Susanne has also inspired a great many others to adopt a healthier lifestyle. And it’s not a question of some quick fix or miracle diets. Start where you are with what you have and build from the ground up, she asserts. “You have to find a way to exercise that fits into your life as it is right now. It has to work in everyday life – with family, job and everything else there has to be room for. It’s important to be realistic. If you’re not getting any exercise at all today, two times a week can be an extremely good start. You have to find a routine and be pleased when you’re able to maintain it.”

To fit training into her own life, Susan schedules it in her calendar exactly like any meeting or task. “People ask how I manage to fit in my training. My answer is that I don’t get time, I take time. Sometimes I train five times a week, sometimes I’ve time for only one workout. But I always write training time into my calendar. I always have a realistic plan and never let other priorities get in the way of training. It’s clear to me that I need it to feel good,” she says and describes that morning’s delightful routine. “It was such a fine morning that I decided to leave both music and my watch at home. I laced up my shoes, headed out and jogged on my favourite paths, trying to really be in the present. And I was like another person who returned home after that. Such a treat!”

With nature as an arena

Susan firmly believes that getting some exercise and doing it out in nature would help many people feel much better. “Nature itself is calming, and exercise increases the endorphins in the body. Sometimes timekeeping and music in the ears can be motivating, but it’s also important to try to just be in the moment sometimes. I believe that this would make many people feel really good.”

Susanne’s best 5 on Visingsö

Best outing with the family:

To leave the car in Gränna and visit Visingsö on foot or by bicycle. Bring along a picnic basket, go a short distance from the harbour and find magical picnic places with panoramic views of Lake Vättern. You don’t need to go very far.

Best running stretch:

The entire island is beautiful, with long flat asphalt tracks or soft paths in the beech forest. But I think that the best running tour starts from the harbour. There’s a path that goes along the shoreline all the way down to Södra Visingsö, to Näs. It’s about 6 km.

Best thing to do in poor weather:

As long as you are properly dressed, it is super snug to trot around in the beech forest on a rainy day. But there also are many cosy places if you want to be indoors. Persgården, which we operate, for example. There’s a café there as well as a farm shop with organic products and an art gallery.

Best place to eat:

Where you spread out the picnic blanket by the edge of the water. That’s the best there is! I think that you should take advantage of the chance to be out in nature once you have come here. There are many charming restaurants and cafés on the island, too, such as Restaurang Solbacken, Visingsö Pensionat and Wisingsö Hotell and Konferens. But the picnic blanket is my favourite.

Must-visit:

Our Persgården farm, because I think it’s a magical place. There’s something for everyone, both children and adults. And it is easy to get here, just three kilometres along the lake front.

 

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