My Life Moves
Keeping active is not always about pushing yourself. Here are some ideas of activities to do this season that will keep you fit in both body and mind.
1. Long walks.
Don’t miss one of the more inspiring times of the year to walk around the city parks and, ideally, the forest. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover a beautiful forest is not so far away from where you live; all you have to do is set aside a couple of hours and go. The greens, ochres, yellows, browns and reds of the leaves will feed your eyes, while the smell of the ground and the mix of cooler and warm air will awaken the rest of your senses; plus, there’s always that hot drink waiting for you after a long, invigorating walk. Don’t forget: people who walk 40 mins a day have healthier hearts.
2. Take in the sun.
If you live in Central or Northern Europe, you should start taking your daily vitamin D supplements as from today (up to 2000 IU per day, in oil form), all the way to the start of summer. Vitamin D is probably the most talked about vitamin in recent years, studies have shown an alarming relationship between low vitamin D levels and degenerative diseases such as MS (Multiple Sclerosis), some cancers, and even Alzheimer’s.
Beyond supplements, the sun itself is the best source of well-being for our body and mind. Autumn is an ideal time to sit outside to take in this natural remedy, as the rays are not as strong and the UV levels are lower. Kids will really benefit from it, too. So when the sun comes out this month, get everyone outside!
3. Relaxed shopping.
How about taking a quiet morning to wander around your favourite stores without hurry or pressure, simply getting ideas for those Christmas presents that you normally leave until the last minute? When we are relaxed, we are more creative and less likely to make poorly chosen, impulse purchases or to overspend. You will also be saving yourself some stressful moments in the December shopping crowds. So do it differently this time, slow down the pace; you might even discover a new place or two you’d never noticed before.
If, when you go home, you are still without inspiration, Scandinavian Design Center is an online gift shop we love.
4. Cook for others.
It would be hard to ignore what is going on in the world these days, so why not try out new recipes and make others happy with your food while you’re at it? We contacted our local refugee asylum centre to find out how we might help with the refugee crisis. We were surprised with the number of requests for home-made food. So here’s where our from-scratch chicken soup and freshly-baked almond tart come in. We have chosen ingredients suitable for everyone, which can be found in Eastern and Mediterranean countries, and at the same time appropriate for colder weather.
If you’d like to receive these two recipes, simply send us an email with the title “cooking for others” and we will send them to you for everyone to enjoy. Photo by Montserrat.
5. Meet your friends for coffee.
Next time you say “let’s meet for coffee”, mean it! Make that phone call, arrange a cozy meeting over a cup of freshly roasted coffee. The growing craze for coffee is backed by information that supports the beloved brew’s health benefits. Recent studies indicate it can help prevent type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart disease. If you’d like a little more light on the subject, read our Q&A article “Is coffee good for me?” If you are already a committed fan, visit the coffee curators at The Coffee Vine to learn about special brews from around the world (you can order from them, as well).
6. Refresh your home.
Ikea knows it well: their busiest time of the year is after the summer holidays. We agree with our friends and clients that fall has more a sense of a “new year” than New Year’s day itself. There are plenty of new resolutions, ideas and plans for the year ahead. One of them is often changing the space around us, perhaps because we were inspired by the light and the colors of our visits to Italy, Spain or Greece, or maybe it has something to do with shedding our old skin, a primal desire to start all over again. Whatever it is that excites you this season, pressing the refresh button can be a wonderfully good thing. Our trend sources (as one of us used to do this for a living), tell us that vintage items, cozy corners, old woods, leathers and deep colors (dark sea blues, mustard yellows, black, and all shades of browns) are among the best ways to comfort ourselves. Nicemakers are the designers behind the Hoxton Hotel’s interior in Amsterdam, a perfect example of cocooning, a place where we love meeting our friends, relaxing on large old leather sofas, sipping warm drinks and engrossed in good conversation.
7. Get your hands dirty.
Add some long-lasting colour and life to your front entrance, terrace (for those of us lucky enough to have one) or living room by getting some flowering plants. Two choices particularly good for this season are autumn-blooming heather and winter cyclamen. They are both low-maintenance plants, and you’ll get a lot of blossoming for very little effort. Heather (calluna vulgaris) prefers an acid, well-drained potting soil, some protection from the wind, and full sun. As with heather, there are many, many varieties of cyclamen. Most garden centres and florists carry cyclamen persicum, a type that prefers protection as it does not handle the cold very well. Pick a cyclamen with some unopened buds, remember to dead-head (pinch off the faded blossoms) and you’ll be able to enjoy the show for even longer!