Sep 30, 2020Friluftsliv – free air life

Friluftsliv – free air life

Kim Snodgrass One-minute read.   Resources
Hercules Glades, Missouri – On the Pole Hollow Trail heading north. Image credit: Gary Allman

It’s a fun word and once you get the pronunciation down, friluftsliv practically flies off the tongue. Friluftsliv literally means “free air life”, a Norwegian concept that embraces connecting with nature and a love of the outdoors as a way of life. Just because the weather is changing in Missouri doesn’t mean we have to stay indoors. Bundling up and taking a brisk walk to the end of the driveway or across a field can be a formative experience for your body, mind and spirit.

Here are just a few good reasons a dose of nature should be taken daily so it can do everything it was designed to do – and we allow it to.

  • Boost your memory
  • Restore your mental energy
  • Relieve stress
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protect your vision
  • Improve your concentration
  • Think sharper and more creatively
  • It’s a boost to your Immune system
  • Improves your mental health.

That list didn’t even mention connecting with God through nature. There’s just something wonderful and amazing about seeing creation in all of its shapes and forms when we tune our awareness in that direction.

There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!”

As we head into fall and winter, knowing these benefits can be a real game changer. Instead of only opting to stay indoors in a cozy spot with a warm cuppa something nearby, I’m going to challenge myself to experience friluftsliv. The Norwegians strike again with a wonderful saying that dashes my usual excuse – “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” translates to “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!” Good point.

Read more about the concept of Friluftsliv, a gift to our well-being that can be self prescribed, has positive side effects, is readily available and available at zero cost.

Kim Snodgrass is Assistant to the Bishop for Christian Formation.

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