One of the reasons the country of Norway consistently ranks as one of the world’s healthiest is the longstanding tradition of friluftsliv, or “open air living.” Perhaps during this time of COVID-19-imposed social distancing and restricted gathering, now is the time to enjoy some friluftsliv.

What do Norwegians mean by “open air living?” Beyond the requirement of being in an outdoor setting, the concept has four elements:

First, the purpose is not sports competition, but just enjoying the outdoors. Sports competition is no replacement for friluftsliv.

Second, one must enjoy green and blue spaces (grass, trees and water), so it requires getting away from streets and buildings.

Third, it requires a change of setting. So, if you already live on an open acreage, you need to find a place that is different from your daily setting, to refresh your perspective.

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Finally, you need to use your own engine -- walking, biking, paddle-boarding, etc. – no motors are allowed. In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, let’s guard our health, and refresh our perspective, by laying hold of friluftsliv.