The aim of this study was to describe middle-aged women's perceptions of lifestyle and how it was experienced in their daily lives. Interviews with 15 women selected using network sampling were analysed using a phenomenographic approach. Lifestyle was perceived as either 'handle life', describing a framework of how everyday life should manifest itself in different areas of life, or 'relate to life' implying accepting life as it is and making the best of it based on previous experiences. In terms of providing preventive and health-promoting guiding, it is essential that nurses have an insight into people's reasoning to support them to improve health or deal with illness.
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