Our Techish word of the week may have you doing a double — or even triple take — to read it, but it likely describes a new way of life for you and yours.
The word is “friluftsliv.” Rolls off the tongue, right? You pronounce it “free-lufts-liv.” Translated from Norwegian, it means open-air or outdoor living. This isn’t just for the lucky ones who live in warm climates either. Friluftsliv means spending more time outside no matter what — rain, snow, clouds, or sunny skies.
The concept originated in Scandinavia, but it’s pretty commonplace in areas like Alaska (where Jennifer grew up and waves to us from Prudhoe Bay in the photo above) and the Pacific Northwest (where I live). It may be snowing or raining, but runners, hikers, bicyclists, you name it, are still out and about. Usually, it’s for exercise or commuting, but sometimes, it’s just great TV. (See below…)
Friluftsliv is becoming much more global amid the coronavirus pandemic. As more research and restrictions come out, we are learning that it’s much safer to see other people outside. That has many of us eating outside at restaurants — and not just in the summer. We are socializing outside, going on walks or runs instead of happy hours or coffee shops.
Friluftsliv might be a new concept to many of us who tend to hunker down and hibernate during these long, dark winter months. But this year? It’s could very well be the best way to stay mentally and physically healthy during the age of COVID-19. Want proof? A 2019 study found that just two hours a week spent in nature can lead to a higher rate of “good health and wellbeing.” That goes for both kids and adults.
So get outside already! This is the year of friluftsliv-ing it up, no matter where you live.