Friluftsliv: The Nordic lifestyle trend you need to know

·2-min read

Back in the winter of 2016, the Nordic lifestyle concept of hygge - creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life - was all the rage, and influenced everything from accessories to interior design.

But while there is certainly still a space for hygge, there is another Scandinavia-influenced trend on the horizon - friluftsliv.

"Translating to 'free-air-living', friluftsliv is the Nordic lifestyle concept that refers to the value of spending time outdoors and is something that is ingrained into us Swedes from a young age," Niels Eék, psychologist and co-founder of personal development and mental wellbeing app, Remente (remente.com), shared. "This is why, even in the depths of winter, groups of friends will often be found meeting outdoors, hiking and picnicking together. We have a saying in Sweden: 'There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.'"

Embracing friluftsliv could be simple as going for a leisurely walk, enjoying a meal outdoors in the fresh air, or getting the heart pumping by opting for an open-air run, swim or cycle - either alone or with friends, family, or loved ones.

And Niels is adamant that those who regularly immerse themselves in nature quickly notice a wide range of benefits.

"It is no secret that being outside is good for us. Connecting with nature has been proven to contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, and a recent study found that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature leads to greater wellbeing," the expert continued. "We also know that regular exercise is vital to good mental health. Physical activity boosts the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural anti-depressants. These endorphins are hormones that block pain and encourage feelings of euphoria. In other words, these hormones can make you feel more energetic, alert and happier."

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