When it comes to wellness, there are all sorts of ways to get healthy and find personal balance. And it never hurts to take a cue from other countries and cultures. Here are five lifestyle habits from around the world that will do your body and mind some good.
Take Baths – Japan
Japan has a thriving spa culture. It’s common for people to regularly gather and soak in public baths and onsens (Japanese hot springs). These are occasions to unwind, but also to spend quality time with others. While you may be too shy to hit up a spa, you might benefit from turning on the tub faucet and having a good soak. Hot baths can help ease muscle pain, improve blood pressure, and can even burn calories.
Go Outside – Norway
Norway and surrounding countries embrace a philosophy known as friluftsliv, which translates to “open-air living.” Friluftsliv is the art of going outside and immersing yourself in nature. It can include riding your bike, taking a long hike, or having a picnic. Friluftsliv is so vital to Norway’s culture that people go outside even during the coldest times of the year. We’d do well to embrace friluftsliv, as outdoor activity helps lower stress levels, boost happiness, and boost Vitamin D levels.
Take Breaks – Sweden
Visit Sweden and you’ll likely hear the term fika more than once. A fika is a coffee break, but it’s much more than heading to the office kitchen. In Sweden, a fika is a chance to take a walk and gather with friends at the local coffee shop. Some Swedish firms even have mandatory fika breaks, and for good reason: taking breaks has been linked to higher productivity, reduced fatigue, and improved memory.
Eat Spicy Foods – India
Indian food is infamous for its delightful flavors, which no doubt come from the all the wonderful spices they use. But spices don’t just taste good, they also have a variety of health benefits. Cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric all lower help inflammation, while cumin is rich in iron. Ginger helps with stomach issues and chili peppers can help boost metabolism.
Savor Small Portions – France
French food is notoriously rich, and yet France has lower rates of obesity and cardiovascular issues than the US. This is because French food culture favors much smaller portions, relishing quality over quantity. One study compared Philadelphia portions to Paris portions and found Philadelphia’s helpings were 25% bigger! Turns out less is more when it comes to health.