Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Change of Lifestyle

  As a nurse, I tend to notice a lot about the people around me.  I love to observe.  A marked observation that I have made as a health care professional is that in the month that I have been in Germany, I have not seen a single morbidly obese person.  Not one!  A little overweight here and there, and the occasional beer belly, but not the obvious obesity that you see on a daily basis in the US.  I think that says a lot about American culture, and it is not a compliment.
  I have discovered that here in Germany, health and wellness are highly valued.  Children are taught to live a healthy lifestyle in school.  They are encouraged in an active lifestyle.  People here take the time to relax and rejuvenate.  In contrast, they don't spend all their spare time relaxing.  People get out!  There is a lot of walking done here.  I, like many others, walk to local bakery and grocery store when I need something.  If you want to go farther, you walk to the train station.  Want to get to the store or train station faster?  You ride your bike.  I have seen many people that are probably in their 80s riding their bikes to get around.  People that age wouldn't go near a bike in the US. 
  Germans spend a lot of time outdoors.  If they cant be outdoors, then the windows are open.  It can be 34 degrees outside and my neighbor will have her bedroom door open and her bedding airing on the balcony.  Gardening is a popular pastime.  They take it very seriously. 
  From a healthcare perspective, I believe that overall the German populace is much healthier than the American people.  People here are also much more holistic in their approach to health care.  Accupuncture and chiropractic medicine are much more readily accepted here than in the US.  Herbal remedies are also more frequently used.
   I feel healthier just being here. :)

1 comment:

  1. So, follow their example and see how much it changes your outlook. I know that I feel better if I can get out and do something outdoors even if it is nothing more than bringing in the firewood. I did that in the middle of the night when I got home from work the other night and I must admit that I felt better and had a sense of accomplishment when I laid my head on the pillow to go to sleep. That's the good thing about gardening or some physical task. When you are done you know you have done something. When we do our endless round of daily tasks at the end of the day we feel like we have accomplished nothing if we see no direct effect from our actions.