Scandinavians are famous for their recipes for happiness — lagom and hygge. Though these philosophies are quite popular even outside of Northern Europe, in reality, for a good life you only need a little bit more than a cup of hot tea and a fireplace. Despite the harsh climate, Scandinavians have a fairly long life expectancy and are mostly in good health.
Skiing instead of going to the gym
Even though most Norwegians live in cities now, being in nature is still a very important part of the local culture. Norwegians believe that it’s necessary to spend a lot of time outside and they even have a special word for it — friluftsliv. Physical activity, for them, is not just a way to burn calories but also a way to experience some pleasure. This is why instead of going to the gym, they go skiing, ice skating, for a swim in a lake, or for a walk in the forest. Find something you like (walking, dancing, yoga, football, or mountain climbing) and make it a part of your schedule. Besides, Scandinavians move a lot in their everyday lives: they walk, ride bikes to work, and clean up the snow near their houses.
Butter is better than oil.
Scandinavians are sure that good butter is far better than oil or margarine. They add a small piece of butter to a lot of meals, be it soup, meat, or vegetables. This makes the food more nuanced and more nutritious. By the way, Scandinavian studies have proven that eating a lot of milk fat decreases the risk of obesity.
“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”
It might seem that living in Norway or Sweden is a challenge: in winter, most of the territory is covered in snow and ice. The cold climate may not only bring discomfort but quite the opposite. Norwegians even have a proverb — “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!” which means that even in rainy or snowy weather you will see people riding bikes.
Low temperatures speed up the metabolism, improve the quality of sleep, and regulate the appetite. Of course, the cold alone can’t make the body super-healthy, so it’s important to combine several good habits. Swedish model Karin Agstam, for example, starts her day by showering in ice-cold water.