Monday, 18 September 2017

Meet your new health philosophy - 'Lagom'

lagom, hygge, healthy lifestyle
Buy the book at Amazon 
I'm guessing you've all heard about 'hygge' (pronounced 'hoo-guh')? The Danish term was everywhere last winter and loosely translates as 'cozy'. It was even on the short list for the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year in 2016. It's also an official lifestyle trend that has been used to sell us everything from bedsocks to knitting classes.

But you can't spend your life sipping mulled wine and cuddling under blankets by the light of an Ikea candle (although you can spend some of your life like that) - particularly if you'd like to keep fit and healthy despite the rather early winter weather we're having. But fear not, there's a NEW Scandi-term in town - and this one might just help you with portion control!

You need to learn about 'lagom'...

This time it's Sweden that's providing the philosophy. ‘Lagom’ is a Swedish word that means ‘just the right amount’. So the trend is almost the opposite of all the upselling that hygge promotes. There's no need to bury yourself ten-foot deep in cashmere and cinnamon buns, we're looking at a Nordic way of life that suggests you aim for taking just what you need - whether that be food, energy, water or waste. Plus it's easier to pronounce (think 'lah-gom').

Naturally Ikea is all over the phrase, and this is partly because lagom is a far longer-lasting term than hygge. Lagom is a way of approaching life with balance - some might even say frugality. I think we all know the real problem in our lives these days is having too much - be that too much stress, too much fast food, too much time on our screens, too much crap in our houses. Which is why this de-cluttering book was so popular last year too!

Why is it healthy?

soy candle, interiors, lifestyle
Soy candles are still allowed...
Imagine if you applied this approach to your life consistently over many years. Bear in mind that lagom isn't about denying yourself pleasure or sacrificing what you love - more about savouring what you need.

I like to think we've got lots of British phrases that echo the sentiment - I'm thinking 'a little of what you fancy does you good' and 'all things in moderation'. So, enjoy a slice of cake but don't go eating the whole pie (forks down people).

Likewise, don't throw yourself into a crazy exercise regime you can't sustain - find a balanced way to work it into your life - a little bit every day. And since lagom is also connected to eco-consciousness and sustainability - replacing car journeys with walking and cycling fits right in.

Being fit and healthy yourself, staying that way over time and encouraging your children to do the same, is a mix of consistency and realism. Which is why lagom is really the health trend you need to follow. This isn't about a quick fix, splashing the cash on the Next Big Thing or making drastic changes, instead it's about making little changes here and there that all add up to make a big difference in the long run. Like swapping one coffee a day to a glass of water, taking the stairs instead of the escalators and keeping takeaways as a treat.

But the soy candles can stay.


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