5 ways to make the most of a hot and sunny lunch break

15th Jul 19 | Lifestyle

You can still enjoy the fantastic midweek weather, even if you’re living the 9-5 life.

There’s nothing worse than being stuck at work when the weather is great, and this summer plenty of us will be trudging to our desks while the sun is shining outside.

Rather than pulling a sickie and attempting to go incognito outdoors, there are ways to avoid sunshine FOMO when you’re due to be in the office – and it’s all about maximising your lunch hour. 

Here are just a few ideas for making the most of a sunny forecast…

1. Find an outdoor gym class

Why not skip the gym class and make the great outdoors your playground instead? Whether it’s a spot of calming yoga on the grass or a sweaty bootcamp session, taking your workouts into the sun is a great way to boost your energy levels ahead of a hot and sticky afternoon in the office.

Google is the best place to search for local options, but if outdoor classes are limited in your area, why not pack your trainers and head out for a group run at lunchtime? It’s easy, free and just as effective.

2. Meditate in the park

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It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, scattered and anxious at work, and if you’re running behind on your to-do list, it’s tempting to skip the lunch break altogether. However, studies have found that taking a breather from your desk can actually make you more productive, and practising meditation is a helpful way to ease any lingering work stress.

Apps like Calm and Headspace are a great place to start – they have bite-sized guided meditations that you can easily fit into a lunch break (some are as short as 10 minutes). All you need to do is find a sunny patch of grass, pop in your headphones and relax.

3. Organise a work picnic

Nothing says summer quite like a picnic, and if the sun’s out, chances are your colleagues will be keen to head outdoors too. Pinterest has loads of inventive recipes to try – each person could try bringing in a different dish for the group to enjoy, or you could just grab a sarnie from the supermarket and eat it in the sun. Either way, it’s a lot more enjoyable than wolfing down your lunch over your keyboard.

4. Take meetings outside

If you really want to extend your lunch break and maximise your time in the sunshine, suggest to colleagues that you take meetings outdoors. Some managers will be more welcoming than others to this idea, but a change of scenery can be a good way to supercharge a creative brainstorm. In fact, studies have found that being outdoors can boost mental health, reduce stress and inspire creativity.

5. Go for a cycle

You can’t go too far on foot during an hour’s lunch break, but add a bike into the mix and you’ve suddenly got much more freedom to roam. You could explore some new areas near your workplace, cycle over to a friend’s office or simply take a spin around the local park.

If you’re looking for cycling inspiration, the BeSpoke podcast,  hosted by Gareth Rhys Owen, Rob Hayles and Simon Brotherton, is a great early morning listen to get you pumped for a lunch break in the saddle. Just make sure you pack a helmet and lots of sun cream to stay safe and protected.

© Press Association 2019