The sun is finally here which means one thing: making the most of every possible moment we can outdoors.
More than half of people in the UK (56%) do not take the full lunch break they’re entitled to, despite breaks being proven to increase your productivity for the afternoon. So if the cold weather has left you a little rusty on what to do during that hour of pure bliss, we’ve got your back.
Here are six ways to enjoy your lunch breaks in the sun. What are you waiting for?
Have a picnic 🍉
Lunch ‘al-desco’ is simply not on when the sun is shining, so grab a blanket and a few colleagues or find a quiet bench by yourself to enjoy lunch outdoors. For those with preparation time to spare, you can find inspiration for classic picnic food recipes here (think homemade pork pies, scotch eggs and cheese and onion tarts - yum). Alternatively, simply take your usual lunchbox sarnie to a new setting or pick up some nibbles in a supermarket - after all, everything tastes better in the sunshine.
Go for a walk 🚶
Going for a walk will not only allow you to enjoy the sunshine, it’ll also improve your health. According to the NHS, regular walking is proven to reduce your risk of multiple chronic illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. What’s more, it can also improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression. Walking is especially handy for those who sit all day, as it helps with avoiding the build up of tension in the back and shoulders and staves off back pain. Win-win.
Head to a pub garden (just for one) 🍺
Nothing says British summer time like a pub garden and there are a plethora to chose from across the country. Of course, we’re not recommending you hit the booze hard (unless your boss is present and preferably paying) but one tipple wouldn’t go amiss. To ensure you keep a clear head for the afternoon ahead, opt for a non-alcoholic beer, a Pimms or try a shim cocktail, the latter of which has a lower alcohol content than traditional cocktails.
Go for a cycle 🚲
If you cycle to work, why not take your bike for an extra spin this lunchtime? Explore an area near your workplace you’ve never ventured to or run some errands, leaving you more time to enjoy the sunshine this evening. If you’re looking for cycling motivation or inspo, look no further than our reporter Amy Packham’s regular cycling column. Happy riding.
Eat an ice cream 🍦
Ice cream is the taste of summer, so hunt down a cone down like your life depends on it this lunchtime. Buy from your local ice cream van and support a local business person for a treat with added sweetness. If you’re a vegan struggling to find an option suitable on the high street, read these handy recipes on your lunch break and get making your own vegan ice cream at home this evening.
Join an outdoor exercise class 🏋️
Whether it’s yoga or an army-style bootcamp that takes your fancy, joining an outdoor exercise class on your lunch break can feel you leaving energised for the afternoon ahead, plus free up your evening for that all-important summer socialising. Google is your friend to find the best options in your area. Alternatively, hit the pavement and go running for an outdoor workout that’s totally free. (Showers recommended for anyone with a big afternoon meeting.)