Friluftsliv-The Norwegian Style of Open-Air Living

“It’s something we do all year. “You get so much energy from it,” says Tina Holm, a scientist at pharmaceutical and cosmetics business Perrigo’s Nordic headquarters, who is here with her company’s running club. “In Sweden, we have a saying: “There is no such thing as terrible weather, only lousy clothes (

Expressions that don’t quite translate are by far my favorite of all the things to learn when you’re new to a nation, such as friluftsliv.

“Seeing the greenery, the water, and the trees is a really important aspect of our existence,” says Bo Wahlund, a packaging developer who organizes the group. “It improves both our mental and physical talents.”


Their love of nature is at the heart of what the Scandinavians call friluftsliv . The term roughly translates as “open-air life,” and it was popularized in the 1850s by the Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen, who used it to describe the spiritual and physical benefits of spending time in isolated regions.

What does Friluftsliv Mean to Norwegians?

Norwegians believe that friluftsliv is not just a word but rather a way of life, a philosophy, and a cultural heritage.

It is essentially one word that captures the importance of connecting with nature. The requirement is to be present regardless of the weather and, of course, to have all necessary equipment regardless of the weather. The fundamental devotion to nature that several British romantic poets talked about in their literature pieces is somehow linked to free-air, and life.

Friluftsliv in Practice

Simply put, the lifestyle welcomes the great outdoors, regardless of the weather, and encourages you to simply get outside and live life. You don’t have to be a great adventurer or enjoy extreme winter activities; it may be as simple as suiting up and going for a walk around your block at daybreak on a freezing morning. “Friluftsliv is less about what you do and more about where you are for Norwegians,” said Lasse Heimdal, secretary general of Norsk Friluftsliv, an organization that represents over 5,000 outdoor groups in Norway.

Feel, Smell, See, and Seek your Coffee

Like most things in life, a little planning goes a long way, and this is certainly true of friluftsliv, especially in terms of your clothes. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad attire,” as the ancient adage goes. While temperatures in Minnesota sometimes drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit, it is usually nothing that a decent pair of long underwear and some insulated gear can’t handle. “Put on enough garments to avoid getting wet or freezing, then go out!” Go to your favorite nearby location: a park, the harbor, a river running through the city, the woods, or a rooftop with a fantastic view. Consider it. Feel the temperature, the wind, and the air. Smell! See! “And, importantly, bring hot coffee in your thermos,” says the stats.

According to Dr. Ida Solhaug, a psychology researcher at the University of Tromso, Minnesota has a long Scandinavian history, and it has the most Scandinavian Americans of any state in the US. It is only fitting that we embrace friluftsliving, and instead of being filled with dread for the upcoming winter months, let us welcome the colder months with joy and eager anticipation. Let’s find time to be outside, explore, seek beauty, and live a “free-air existence.”

Reference :

  1. Friluftsliv, health and quality of life: About friluftsliv as a method for health


Source: Medindia

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