The particular ways people maintain their health is due in no small part to their culture. People from different countries can really learn untapped health habits from each other, widening their health resources and learning how to live a more well-balanced life. Read on for some of the ways people around the world stay healthy.
1. NORTHERN EUROPE: USE SAUNAS
Saunas are a big part of the culture in cold, dark, Northern Europe. In Finland, for instance, nearly every household has its own sauna. It’s a place to relieve stress, relax the muscles and catch up with friends and family.
2. THE NETHERLANDS: BIKE EVERYWHERE
The Netherlands has the highest rates of both bicycle ownership and ridership in the world—just about 1 in 4 commuters take two wheels to work. In big cities like Amsterdam and the Hague, that number hovers around an astounding 70 percent. That exercise makes a major difference in health and weight. Studies show that bike commuters have a lower risk of heart attacks and death, lower cholesterol and better overall fitness. Take it from the Dutch—biking is a great way to get around!
3. ARGENTINA: DRINK MATE
In Argentina, yerba mate is a way of life. This potent tea packs quite the caffeinated punch, and it contains more nutritional benefits than green tea. But it’s the social benefits that really make it a healthy habit: In Argentina, mate is a drink to be shared with friends, loved ones and acquaintances.
4. SPAIN & LATIN AMERICA: TAKE NAPS
North American adults aren’t much for napping in the afternoon, but the practice is quite common in other places, especially in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries across the globe. Napping has been shown to help people be more alert and perform better, and can increase your mood and may even help your heart, keep your weight healthy and stave off diabetes and depression.
5. THAILAND: GET MASSAGES REGULARLY
Getting a massage is a way of life—not a luxury—in Thailand. Thai massage practitioners believe it helps everything from physical aches and pains to anxiety. And yes, stress relief is a big part of it, too.
In comparison to the zesty cuisine of India, the foods most Americans eat is very bland. Which is a shame, because spicy food has been shown to prevent cancer, improve blood pressure and even help you lose weight.