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Last Updated on January 3, 2018

20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

20 Most Peaceful Countries in the World to Live in

Imagine you could choose the most peaceful country in the world to live in. What a luxury! The first prize goes to Iceland, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. The Global Peace Index has issued a report which lists all 162 countries in the world according to how peaceful they are.

They used a wide range of respected sources such as The World Bank and some of the UN agencies before they drew up their list. Peace, according to their definition based on 22 indicators, is the absence of war, violence, low military spending, levels of policing, organized crime, and the application of democratic government.

Here are the 20 most peaceful countries in the world:

1. Iceland

Iceland

    Apart from dramatic scenery, Iceland has a 100% literacy rate in the 300,000 population  Living among an educated population which is tolerant towards minorities is a great bonus. The best thing of all is that murders (1.8 per 100,000 population a year) are practically non existent. Compare that with the US where you have a rate of 5.8 per 100,000.

    2. Denmark

    Denmark

      The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world!  Figures for worker motivation are very high and there is a welfare system in place which is the envy of most of the world. Taxation is high but the money is well spent on making the Danish lifestyle really relaxed and well organized.

      3. New Zealand

      New Zealand

        One of the most unpolluted countries in the world where spectacular scenery abounds. 90% of  immigrants state that they would certainly recommend the land of the Kiwis to their families and friends. New Zealanders get generous leave benefits so they have plenty of time to enjoy the landscape and sports facilities.

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        4. Austria

        Austria

          Austrian teenagers get to vote when they are only sixteen years old but they can only drink alcoholic beverages when they are eighteen. Austria boasts a wonderfully clean environment where everything is spotless, great transport system and very low crime rates. It is also cheaper than many people believe. You can buy a bottle of drinkable wine for $4.

          5. Switzerland

          Switz

            The secret to Switzerland’s happy and healthy population is that the authorities have invested heavily in their people in providing them with excellent education, health services and employment benefits. They may be famous for their banking, cuckoo clocks and skiing resorts but they have wisely invested in their greatest asset.

            6. Japan

            Japan

              You need never worry about finding a clean restroom in Japan. They are spotless!  Combine that with great food, impeccably polite people and a transport system the envy of the world. Perhaps Japanese people work too hard but they have built a peaceful and technologically advanced nation in a relatively short time.

              7. Finland

              Finland

                If you do not mind the long, dark cold winters, Finland has plenty to offer.  There is practically no corruption and very little class distinction. It scores highly on gender equality as well.  It has practically the best education system in the world. Children are given plenty of recesses too in the fresh (cold!) air and there is a very low rate of ADHD.

                8. Canada

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                Canada

                  Did you know that the average household income in Canada is $28,000 annually? This is one of the highest in the world and certainly above OECD averages. In addition, there are excellent work opportunities where meritocracy is widely recognized. A peaceful country with a sound economy and beautiful landscapes make this a great place to live.

                  9. Sweden

                  Sweden

                    Another Scandinavian country in the top ten!  Sweden is fabulous for lots of snow and long winters so if you are into that, it is a great place to be. High standards of living plus generous parenting leave for mums and dads (15 months) plus a great welfare system justify its high place in the rankings.

                    10. Belgium

                    Belgium

                      If you love beer and chocolate and do not mind endless rainy days, then Belgium is another great location. There are wonderful old towns, castles and museums to visit. As regards transport, Paris and London are really near so you get the best of several worlds. You can be in Paris in 70 minutes taking the high speed train.

                      11. Norway

                      Norway

                        Norway is a really safe country and has an incredibly low prison population. It also comes out on top as regards health and happiness. Freedom to roam in a stellar landscape is enshrined in the Norwegian law known as ‘allemannsrett’ which means you can camp or trek anywhere you like. Add in fabulous lakes and fiords which make it one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world.

                        12. Ireland

                        Ireland

                          I was born and grew up in Ireland so please turn a blind eye to the bias in this entry!  Yes, the people are really friendly and they have a wicked sense of humour which is great fun. Having a conversation with an Irish person can turn into an event! The scenery at times is breathtaking and it has some of the best golf courses in the world. The only problem is the weather but you can’t have everything.

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                          13. Slovenia

                          Slovenia

                            Slovenia scores highly as a great place to bring up kids and ranks higher than the UK, according to a UNICEF report. In addition to some wonderful trekking countryside, it has marvellous food and seems to have inherited the best from Italy and other neighbouring countries. You can feel very safe here as there are only 1,000 people in prison out of a total population of 2 million.

                            14. Czech Republic

                            Czech

                              The Czech Republic has a great musical tradition. Smetana, Dvorak and Janacek were all Czech citizens, just to name a few. It is also surprising to note that the last census revealed that 34% of the population consider themselves atheists. Marionette theater plus the traditional hearty food of soups and meat add to this country’s charm. The Czechs are very proud of their history, art, music and beer!

                              15. Germany

                              Germany

                                Another central European country where a fondness for the arts, history and music is not considered elitist. It is just a normal part of cultural life and tradition. High standards of living plus excellent organization in everyday life make Germany a great choice. Add in some great beer, trekkers’ paradise (with even trails for nudists), Christmas markets and beautiful fairy tale towns and you have a wonderful place to live.

                                16. Australia

                                Australia

                                  A great place to be young, healthy and in the fresh air because of such a pleasant climate. This may explain why life expectancy here is 82. The economy has benefited from mining and is resilient in spite of recession. Friendly people, amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery make Australia one of the most attractive countries on the planet.

                                  17. Singapore

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                                  Singapore

                                    Singapore is probably the most orderly city state in the world. Astonishing verdant city landscapes which are not just pretty and ornamental. Singapore is leading the way on green initiatives as regards energy, water conservation and the environment. Then you have great food, safe urban areas and the people are friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

                                    18. Portugal

                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                      A golfer’s paradise!  Boasting some of the most spectacular courses in the world and fabulous coastal scenery, Portugal is really very beautiful and has a great climate to go with it.  The crime rate is low and the pace of life is relaxed. Eating out is satisfying and inexpensive.

                                      19. Qatar

                                      Qatar

                                        One of the richest countries in the world where petrol may cost less than water. There are people waiting on you as you fill up with petrol, eat out and have your house cleaned. It is a great place to be spoiled. As Qatar prepares for the 2022 World Cup, (UN estimates 500 immigrants arrive daily!) there may be problems with disruption of services.

                                        20. Bhutan

                                        Bhutan

                                          Who invented ‘happiness’ as an indicator that you can live well? Probably the Bhutan government who coined the phrase GNH (gross national happiness) which was to highlight that material possessions such as a car full of petrol or cheap supermarkets cannot make people happy. Much better to concentrate on the health, well being and education of the people. What better place to do this than the tiny Bhutan Buddhist kingdom tucked away in the Himalayas between India and China. The country was a monarchy up till recently and faces challenges in increasing urbanization and establishing a truly democratic government.

                                          Featured photo credit: War and Peace/ Prasad Kholkute via flickr.com

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                                          Robert Locke

                                          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                          Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                                          12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                                          12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                                          Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                                          A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                                          1. Eat Before Heading Out

                                          First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                                          2. Select The Treats

                                          Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                                          3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                                          Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                                          4. Drink With Moderation

                                          It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                                          5. Be Active

                                          You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                                          6. Get Out Of The House

                                          Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                                          7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                                          Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                                          8. Set Realistic Goals

                                          You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                                          9. Enjoy Yourself

                                          Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                                          10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                                          This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                                          11. Eat Less And More Often

                                          Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                                          12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                                          Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                                          So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                                          Happy Holidays everyone!

                                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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