02 June 2008


Last night we had a few friends over for dinner.

While we were eating, one of them mentioned she's been a lot healthier since she moved to Europe. She was convinced her lack of colds had to due with radiated heat instead of forced air heat, which tends to dry out your nose and throat.

I was thinking about it some more today because I have also been healthier since moving here. But I think it is more as a result of not working than anything else.

Here are the reasons:

1. I am no longer sleep deprived. Before I married GLH I actually worked two jobs, my full-time job and a part-time job. As a result, three days a week I worked from 8 am until 11 pm. I also worked at least two weekends every month. Even after I quit the second job (because GLH and I were rarely able to see each other), I worked long hours as a manager. With all the things that must be done at work and at home, plus a desire to also do fun things, I rarely got to bed before midnight and then was up again by 6 am.

2. We rarely eat away from home now. When we were both working, we would get home exhausted from the day and then try to figure out what to have for dinner. Cooking seemed like a lot of work. Not to mention cleaning up afterwards. And the grocery shopping to ensure we actually had things to eat. We would frequently end up eating at a restaurant (or picking up take out) simply because it was late, we were hungry and it was so much easier. Now that I am not working, I have time to grocery shop and do actual meal planning. Plus the cost of dining in Zurich is so high that I am reluctant to pay those prices for what is usually mediocre food. (The good restaurants are even more expensive!)

3. Exercise is an integrated part of my daily life. Since I usually take public transportation most everywhere I go, I do a lot more walking. Plus I will frequently meet other Haus Fraus for a bit of walking as well. I typically average an hour or more of exercise every day. That's a fair amount of exercise. Far more than I used to do even when I planned it into my schedule and visited the gym.

4. I am no longer exposed to so many germs. Do you have any idea how many germs library employees come into contact with on a daily basis? Large public buildings, filled with people of all ages, but predominantly children, tend to generate a lot of sickness. I love children. Really do. But they are germ factories! There's just no getting around it. Because I do not work, I come into contact with far fewer people. And unlike at work, where people may come even when they are sick, Haus Frau events tend to have only the healthy people there.

So, yeah, I am healthier and catch far fewer colds and the like. But I don't think it's got anything to do with our radiated heat!

And I am healthy even though we generally leave our windows open for the cross breeze. But that's another post altogether. (I bet others living in German-speaking areas know exactly what I am talking about!)


Marcy said...

I actually can't decide if I got exposed to more germs while working at the school, or through riding public transit. ; )

Jul said...

Admit it - the real reason you are healthier is because you are avoiding air conditioning and moving air. Ha!

Global Librarian said...

Marcy: We'll see what happens to you now that you are your very own Germ Factory.

Jul: As I write this, our air conditioner is happily humming away in the corner. Nope, not sick.

Anonymous said...

You have some very good points! I tend to agree with you; can I retract my heating comment? The important thing is: I feel better, and I'm grateful!

Ingrid said...

I agree with the not working thing making me healthier. I used to regularly get colds when I was working as I think my immune system broke under the stress. Now I have a blissful life in the country. I find I get sick now when I feel down or sad........ It�s sounds like things have calmed down for you re work wise as well.

And we don�t eat out much either. Again due to saving money but also we are stuck for choice here - Pizza or chinese. I find, though, the lack of frozen convenince foods is a big difference. I used to buy a frozen quiche or some other finished meal, but here you can�t find much (although when I first came here all you could get were frozen pizzas. Now you can get much more. )

Re cross breeze, we are upgrading to the new technology thing (not that I really know anything about it)We are getting a Warmraumlufterung (don�t know what it is English, but it is one of those things that gives fresh air in the house every 2 hours. So we won�t need to open our windows again. This after we designed a terrace with huge doors that I want to have open in summer to bring the outside in!!!!!!!!!!