Practise the Swedish art of moderation

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 12:14

With preparations for The Great Nordic Feast in full swing, it might seem an odd time to look at the topic of balance and moderation – unless you consider the Swedish expression ‘lagom is best’. This means practising moderation, for the mind and the body, in order to achieve balance.

Which is why our feast is about more than joyous eating and drinking (although it’s definitely about that!). It is also a celebration of Nordic lifestyles and an exploration of how we can embed Nordic values like equality, sustainability and openness into our own lives.

Before the feast starts, Visit Sweden shared a few tips from Bertil Marklund MD, PhD, a medical doctor, researcher, author and professor of general medicine, and a specialist in public health. He believes that balance is of utmost importance and wrote The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer to help people work towards lagom. Here are three of the strategies he advocates:

Measure your stomach height

  • Monitoring abdominal fat will tell you how much fatty acid is being released into the abdomen by fat cells when you are stressed, which ultimately damages the heart, arteries, liver and pancreas. A healthy figure for men is less than 22cm; for women less than 20cm.

Drink 3 to 4 cups of coffee daily

  • Researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that a few cups of coffee a day may help to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer, while scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that the equivalent of two large cups a day could offer up to a 30 per cent reduced risk of multiple sclerosis.

Sleep for 6 to 7 hours

  • A Swedish study of 70,000 women showed that short and long sleepers ran a greater risk of premature death – although negative effects of too much sleep are offset by physical activity. The optimal period of sleep for most  20- to 40-year-olds is seven hours, reducing to about six hours by the age of 60.


If you’re feeling inspired by the Nordic way of living come and get a taste of a simple, balanced lifestyle at The Great Nordic Feast, which takes place from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 October.

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