People in Latvia are closely connected with nature. That is why things that are elsewhere called landscape therapy, herbal medicine or aromatherapy and cost a lot of money are known here simply as long walks in the woods or by the sea, a thoroughly hot session in the sauna or a steaming mug of herbal tea – best for dealing with a physical and mental low. And the so-called work therapy, more commonly known in Latvia as “doing a few chores” around the country home, provides a city dweller with a great opportunity to take some exercise.
There are saunas in many houses and nearly every guesthouse or hotel, and they offer a wide range of treatments: from swatting yourself with besoms made out of plants, sweat-inducing teas, contrast showers, various massages and beauty treatments using natural preparations.
At a fair number of hotels and country “health farms”, guests are offered spa services which use both world renowned cosmetics brands and products made on site from ingredients that come from the untouched Latvian nature. (Among other things, the unspoiled nature has inspired several Latvian entrepreneurs to create lines of natural cosmetic products: for example, the nature-friendly Madara products have already conquered the European market.)
Everyone can find the most suitable way of restoring energy and good cheer – whether at the hotel spas of Riga, Jūrmala, Liepāja and other towns, or amidst rural tranquillity. Also, activities such as horse riding, Nordic walking, bicycling and cross-country or downhill skiing in winter enjoy popularity. But to keep the spirit and the flesh awake, far more extreme pursuits can be useful: for example, winter swimming in an ice hole (maybe you wish to join the Latvian “seals”?). Still, a healthy lifestyle can be led in more peaceful ways: with a juice treatment or rubbing yourself with a rough linen towel, or a morning crawl on all fours following a special methodology.