Published June 4, 2021
There are many wonderful reasons to visit Scandinavia, from glacial wildness to clean and pleasant cities. You may need to set aside several nights to be able to enjoy an astonishingly beautiful aurora and the midnight sun between days of hiking or skiing. You may go there to experience history and culture or to travel from one country to another and enjoy as much excitement as you can. Once you are there, you may see lots of evidence to support the claim that Scandinavia is it happiest place on earth, and you may be embracing some healthy factors that contribute to that happiness.
Take time to recover and rest
Setting aside time to spend with family and friends is high on the Scandinavians’ priority list. In countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway, workers have between three and five weeks’ holiday, and more when the children arrive. Scandinavians would say that this commitment to enjoy their lives is one of the biggest reasons behind their happiness.
When you are on holiday in Scandinavia, you can take this commitment to heart. Put down your cell phone, do not check the emails from work. Rather ignore distractions and focus properly on the activities you have planned. Get in touch with new friends (many Scandinavians speak English,) and start conversations with other travelers as well as locals.
Take time for hot springs and the sauna
There are some good health benefits to spending time in geothermal water, such as reducing stress, pain or even skin irritation. In addition, the heat increases blood circulation. If you do not have access to hot springs at home, you can benefit from many benefits by taking a warm bath, these include:
- Raises your mood
- Helps you sleep better
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Improves your immune system
Spend time in the sauna and pamper yourself with a physical and mental cleansing, let the steaming heat flush out toxins and strengthen your immune system. Some claim that exercise contributes to healthy weight loss. As mentioned earlier, you can enjoy many of these benefits through a warm, steaming bath at home.
Be active and go out
In Denmark, the number of bicycles is more than the number of people, and you will probably see more people on bicycles than in cars. In Scandinavia, cycling is not only a way to get from one place to another, it is also a good form of exercise with many health benefits such as strengthening the torso and lower body muscles while the heart gets exercise. Other popular forms of exercise include walking (or Nordic walking,) hiking, and practicing team sports as entertainment. An important part of the Scandinavian lifestyle is to be physically active, it’s not just about a quick workout of 30-60 minutes.
It is an enjoyable part of life and culture.
Although it is true that Scandinavian countries have very cold temperatures seasonally, it is also true that people go out in all weathers. The idea behind the expression “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes” comes directly from Scandinavia. Clean, fresh outdoor air is good for your health, and Icelanders believe that it only makes one stronger to breathe it. Being outdoors is a great boost to mood, so when it is cold outdoors, get dressed and entertain yourself with some fun winter sports, such as skiing, or participate in community events.
Take off your shoes indoors
Once you get home, take off your shoes and focus on relaxation. Put on a pair of comfortable socks or slippers that signal to the body that it’s time to relax. You will also reduce pollution and dirt that you carry with you into the home. It will not be long before you convince your family that it is a good habit, and it should only take a few visits from your guests for them to get used to your house rules.
Try a Scandinavian diet
Of course, Scandinavians eat a lot of fish. In addition, their meals contain whole grains and root vegetables that are available seasonally. This diet is rich in protein, as well as antioxidants and omega 3. Rye bread, with less sugar than other types of bread, helps reduce hunger, and root vegetables help diners feel full faster and longer. Add a little (less than a teaspoon) of butter (not margarine) to the meat, soup and pasta to make the food a little fuller while leaving you a little fuller. Dairy fats tend to be healthier than others.
Don’t forget to add some berries to your meals when they are available naturally. To put it simply, this diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. If you are willing to try new things, you might want to try Skyr, a dairy product found in some local grocery stores. Once you have mastered the ingredients, you can make a snack. Dinner was initially eaten around noon, but today many Scandinavians eat this meal early in the evening, at 4 or 5 p.m. This early goal gives you plenty of time to digest your food before you go to bed. You do not have to go to bed hungry but can eat supper around 21.
Be smart when you smoke and drink
There is a lot that can make these habits unhealthy, but if you want to continue with them, you should consider following the Scandinavians. Many Norwegians and Swedes prefer to use Scandinavian snus instead of cigarettes. There are several health reasons to replace smoking with Swedish snus, so that’s something you can consider. It is not forbidden to drink alcohol in Scandinavia, but many regulate their drinking by limiting it to one day a week or at a specific time of the day. For example, many Scandinavians only drink on the weekends.
Once you enjoy all the nature and city life that Scandinavia has to offer, you must not forget to adopt some of the healthy cultural habits that are common in these countries. Perhaps you will find that the best souvenirs are the healthy habits you have brought home.