Finland is renowned globally for its emphasis on leading a healthy lifestyle and prioritising wellness. In Finland, winter sports and a relaxing sauna are beloved pastimes. However, the Finnish concept of wellbeing also involves some unique customs that might seem peculiar to those who aren’t Finnish, such as drinking blueberry juice at all times and taking a dip in a frozen lake. You can learn more about these practices in this article.
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Drinking blueberry juice all day long
Blueberry juice is a popular drink in Finland, made from wild blueberries that grow in the country’s forests. Between 150 and 200 million kilos of blueberries are harvested in Finland every year to be eaten fresh or used in juice. Wild blueberries are rich in antioxidants, more so than cultivated fruit, making them an excellent healthy drink option.
My first experience with blueberry juice was on a flight with Finnair. Blueberries were a common ingredient on the menu, including blueberry muffins. During a night of snowshoeing in Vuokatti forests and after a husky sleigh ride, the drink for participants was hot and cold blueberry juice. Blueberry juice is also available at any hotel buffets and self-service restaurants.
Swimming in icy water
Swimming in cold water all year round is popular in Finland and is believed to benefit one’s health. Although I have not tried it, I observed that Finns who engage in this activity are usually in good shape and prioritize their wellbeing.
Regardless of the weather, swimming outdoors is an everyday activity in Finland. During the summer, people go for long swims, while in the winter, some take a dip in a frozen lake.
The guide in Vuokatti, Finland, shared that she swims in a frozen lake every morning before going to work. I saw a Finnish lady in a swimsuit leisurely swimming in a lake surrounded by ice. Meanwhile, I was bundled up in a ski suit and snow boots.
Relaxing in the sauna
The Finnish sauna is renowned globally, and the locals partake in it daily, followed by a dip in an ice hole. The sauna’s most significant advantage is that it enhances circulation and induces relaxation. It aligns with our wellness philosophy, as you can find it in the best European spas.
However, only in Finland can you experience a traditionally heated sauna, where fire smoke fills and heats the room before ventilation. Additionally, floating saunas in stunning locations are also a significant tourist attraction.
The Finns’ passion for saunas is so widespread that you can find them in hotel spas and holiday home bathrooms. During my trip to Vuokatti, I noticed saunas in every facility I visited, highlighting the Finns’ love for this activity.
Leave a comment sharing if you have heard about the traditional ways the Finns take care of their wellbeing. I found their love for blueberry juice and their practice of bathing in frozen lakes quite fascinating.