How to Tackle Winter Norwegian Style
Stokke experts share their tips to help families embrace “The Viking Season”.
It’s cold, it’s dark and easterly winds and horizontal rain are a looming threat for the foreseeable.
With family strolls in the park, bike rides, and al fresco dining in the garden a seemingly distant memory already, the desirable thing to do in the face of the harsh British winter is to draw the curtains, hunker down, , rug up, light a fire, put the kettle on, and hold out for spring in the comfort and warmth of your home.
Or is it…?
Unlike hibernating Brits, our friends in Scandinavia take a more positive approach to wintertime. Despite the shorter daylight hours and extreme weather conditions (the average temperature is -6.8 degrees in winter), Norwegians embrace the cold weather and all the opportunities it can offer.
Stine Brogaard, UK spokesperson for Stokke, says: “Norwegians are known for their hardy, practical approach to tackling ‘bad’ weather. We’re used to extreme conditions throughout winter and we can’t let this affect our day-to-day; we aren’t put off by a dusting of snow or winter rainfall, we simply carry on as normal, and that means continuing to enjoy the great outdoors whilst also ensuring our homes are cosy for our return.
“Far from being put off venturing outside, we keep in mind an oft-quoted Norwegian saying, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.’ We want to encourage Brits to emulate the Scandinavian approach to winter, and ultimately, to enjoy the colder months rather than feel it is a season to struggle through.”
Read on for Stokke’s guide to embracing winter…
Head out with the kids
Scandinavians head outdoors no matter the weather, and children are expected to do the same. If your child is wearing appropriate clothing – warm layers, waterproofs and suitable footwear -, there’s no reason they shouldn’t play outside all year round.
This also goes for younger babies – it’s not uncommon to see them well wrapped up against the cold and napping in their prams outside in the middle of winter. In fact, studies have shown that babies who sleep outside take longer and deeper naps, and once awake, have stronger appetites and are more active.
Layers, layers, layers
For venturing outside, it’s important to dress accordingly. This means layers to dress up and down as required.
Use woollen garments for the first layer, rather than cotton or polyester, as this is more breathable, with a thick down jacket on top. Add a waterproof, hooded warm coat to protect against the inevitable rain and wind. A hat is essential to keep body heat in, and gloves to ensure we can still grip, carry and manipulate when we need to use our digits. Shoes should have a good grip to tackle all terrains and conditions, and if it’s especially cold, use thermal underwear to keep extra toasty.
If you allow yourself to get wet, you are far more susceptible to chills and winter illness (coughs and colds), so ensure all top layers (coats, hats, gloves) are waterproof to prevent any damp spots forming.
Get outdoors for better health
Consider the ‘wind chill’ factor, as this can make the overall temperature feel much lower than it is. Plan walks away from coastlines and other exposed areas, as these are particularly windy, and instead head into more sheltered areas such as woodland or local parks.
In winter we tend to forget about the importance of spending time outside and underestimate the health benefits that go with it. Fresh air is not only good for your physical health, helping with digestion, improving blood pressure and heart rate, as well as strengthening the immune system, but exercise also makes you happier thanks to the boost of endorphins.
Seasonal food and drink
Contrary to popular opinion, seafood is at its best in winter, not summer. Many restaurants will offer seasonal catches, such as cod, halibut and salmon, but also prawns, mussels and lobster are readily available.
Recreate your favourite family seafood dishes at home in warming winter fashion. A simple, warming pasta dish is linguine with prawns, tomatoes and chillies, or why not try grilled cod with layers of crispy baked potatoes?
The Norwegian diet is high in oily fish, a lean form of protein, which is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, shown to reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk of heart disease and arthritis.
Get your ‘kos’ on
One great reason for enjoying the great outdoors in the winter? It makes returning to your warm, cosy home all the sweeter. After spending time outdoors, you will relish an evening spent cuddling on the sofa whilst watching a film.
The noble art of ‘kos’ is Norway’s version of getting cosy and involves lots of candles and a warming crackle from the fireplace. It can mean everything from a cosy gathering at the kitchen table, to standing in the middle of nature watching the northern lights.
A simple way for Brits to enjoy ‘kos’ is with a cup of coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun. For Norwegians, this is a rite of passage at work, at home or in the log cabin in the woods – a sacred ritual.
The season shouldn’t impact the memories you make as a family, just another reason to ensure you spend quality family time outside no matter the weather.
Think back to when you were younger – memories of scavenger hunts, climbing trees and feeding the ducks – none of which should be off the cards just because the temperature has dropped.
For more information, visit www.stokke.com
For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Jo Kendall | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
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Premium children’s furniture and equipment brand, Stokke®, offers a complete package for new parents, covering all highchair, transport, baby carrier, home textiles and nursery needs.
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