10/12/2018 16:06 GMT | Updated 10/12/2018 16:06 GMT

Why Making The Most Of Your Lunch Hour Is So Important...

...if you are away on business, your break is not to be wasted.

You work roughly 217 days a year, which equals 217 lunch hours, or 31 whole days of free time. That’s over a month! When you use this time wisely, you can achieve a lot in a year and still have your weekends and holidays too.

Business travellers are savvy with their free time in another city: in the UK, 88% say they make an effort to see or experience some of the city they are visiting on business, with 43% exploring at any chance they get, according to a recent study by Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts. When meetings get cancelled the most popular thing to do is find a local map or tour guide and explore the city.

Tempting as it is to grab a sandwich al desko and work through, lunch hours are there for a reason: taking a break to relax, recharge and refocus really does make you more productive.

Here are our five top activities to do in your lunch breaks, one for every day of the working week, whether in the office or away on business.

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Physical activity - Monday

This can be as simple as a walk around the block or as focused as going for a timed run or a session in the gym, particularly if you’re in a good hotel with spa facilities and run stations to support you.

Walking is scientifically proven to make you more creative. You could also find a quiet room for some yoga stretches or Pilates exercises, or even a lunchtime class.

Meditation - Tuesday

Just getting outside to some green spaces where your focus can go beyond your desktop screen is enough to calm busy thoughts of work. An hour spent ambling round a new city when you stay at a centrally-located hotel is a tonic for both mind and body, and sitting on a park bench, beside a river or canal in the fresh air gives you space to think and breathe. Hotel concierge will be able to advise you on the best places to go.

Combining your outdoor lunchtime with some mindfulness meditation brings you into the present moment, pushing away the stresses of the morning and recharging you for the afternoon’s challenges.

Learn something new - Wednesday

Apps and headphones open a whole world of lunchtime life skill learning. At least one hour a week spent learning another language with an app such as duolingo, will make you fluent enough for your next holiday.

Be confident you could save a life with apps for learning first aid and disaster skills, and stretch your strategic mind with chess, poker or even bridge apps.

And, of course, there’s reading - ideally a book made of real paper to give your eyes a rest from screens – finally say you’ve read War and Peace or Ulysses.

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Get a chore over with - Thursday

Buy a mop, sit in a café writing a letter to a relative who has no email, go to the bank or post office, choose birthday cards for the next six months.

Get some life admin out of the way when you’re on a business trip. Do these things in your lunch hours and they won’t eat into your weekend. You may also have time for a haircut or manicure, particularly if you’re on a working trip with a little more downtime.

Help others - Friday

Helping others gives us a positive sense of social connectedness. Perhaps use your lunchtime to consider what you can do in the future? Some idea starters: rattle a tin for the lifeboats, sell some poppies, help out in a charity shop (or go shopping there), arrange to give blood. You can plan all this during your lunch hour to give downtime a warm, fuzzy feeling.

At Crowne Plaza, we empower business productivity by providing a premium hotel experience that helps guests to be at the top of their game..

To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly.