Earlier this year I made my first trek across the ocean to visit Sweden. Since that trip I have been inspired to incorporate healthy habits into my life even more as I saw just how effective this culture was at promoting health as a regular practice. I’m sure we’ve all seen those articles about how Scandinavian cultures are some of the “healthiest” and it really did seem to be true.
I learned a lot about health as a lifestyle while I was there. Here are just a few of my takeaways:
You can get just as much work done while working at a slower pace. That usually makes it so you don’t have to go back and redo work that you already did.
Vitamin D can be easily soaked up in small doses.
Biking as a form of transportation can be for everyone who is able to ride a bike – no need to purchase spandex and move quicker than cars do to be a “real biker.”
Biking on cobblestone streets is much more of a workout than biking on a paved path.
Social drinking is not the same thing as overconsumption at parties. Having multiple drinks is ok if you spread it out over hours while talking with friends. (When I went out we spent 6 hours together chatting quietly and walking to 2 different bars.)
Walking to a destination should include a lot of wandering and detours. Bonus points if you can walk along a waterfront.
Portion sizes matter. So does quality of food. If you have to pay more to get less food, it is probably healthier and probably is actually the right amount for your body.
You can get burgers anywhere. ;)
Soak up all the sunshine you can get while it’s out. When it’s not available, hang out with people inside….. but don’t have self-pity and complain.
Learn new languages. It’s good for your brain and can help you meet new friends. (Most people there knew 2-4 different languages!)
Family time > Work time
(People there are not afraid to take time off to spend time with their family. In the USA in is frowned upon.)