We’ve had some lovely warm weather here in the UK, and sunshine works better than anything else to encourage me to turn off the computer and get outside. When the length of summer is rather uncertain (it seemed like all of two days last year…), I hate feeling that I’ve “wasted” the sunny weather.
Here’s how to make the most of the warm weather for maximum health benefits.
- Escape from your desk
During the week, take your packed lunch outside: getting out in the fresh air and sunshine is a great pick-me-up, and will do wonders for your mood and stress levels.
- Make the most of the longer evenings
Now that the evenings are light and sunny, enjoy them! Don’t come straight home and slump in front of the television … instead, go out for a pre- or post-dinner stroll with your partner.
- Cycle or walk to work
If you haven’t already made exercise part of your commute to work, this is a great time to get started. I ride my bike stubbornly through the winter months (with two sweaters, a thick coat, gloves and scarf) then through April (waterproofs essential), but for those who are less keen, sunny weather definitely makes cycling more appealing.
- Use sun protection
I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but make sure you get some sun cream and use it. Even when the air doesn’t feel too hot, or when you won’t be outside for very long, your skin can easily burn.
- Have a picnic
Take your dinner outside in the evenings – if, like me, you don’t have a garden that you can sit in to eat, head to the local park. And why not have a picnic instead of eating out at a restaurant at the weekend? Finger foods like small bread rolls or pitta breads, cold meats, low-fat cheese, crudités and fresh fruit all work well. Sneak in a treat or two, as well; walking to and from your picnic location will make up for it…
- Explore the countryside
Long weekend walks are much more appealing when it’s not cold or raining. See if you can get some good walking plans for an area near you; I’m currently walking the Capital Ring around London, a section at a time.
- Eat in-season foods
Some of my favourite fruits and vegetables are now in season, or about to be! Asparagus, jersey royal potatoes, strawberries … Lorna wrote about foods in season in May recently, so why not try something new?
If the weather is bright wherever you are, make the most of it and have fun!
(Image above by David Reece)