Recently, I have been noticing that many of us are enjoying a very productive lunch break, and I’m not talking about blitzing the emails, popping a load of washing on, or nipping to the post office. How are they doing it then? It’s as simple as getting up and moving.
I know an increasing number of people that have started blocking out their diary at lunch time for a 60 minute dog walk, and a friend of mine swears by getting out into the garden to weed her borders before her midday sandwich.
Whilst many of us think of exercise as a calorie burning activity that will help us lose weight or improve physique, the reality is, there is much more to it than the energy burned and inches lost. For me, the most important aspect is the mental benefit. The change of scenery, break from the desk or screen, and glorious fresh air.
Getting up and out there immediately increases your heart rate and blood flow to your brain. Feeling a bit sluggish at your desk? Take a walk around the block! A quick dose of activity will naturally increase your happiness levels with your work, as when you exercise, it is well known that your brain releases serotonin (the mood and emotion stimulator), which helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle. Regular exercise can help you better deal with stress and whether you are a solo entrepreneur or in employment, better relationships with a work-life balance and those around us can be critical to success and a more secure future.
And whilst my focus here is clearly on the mental benefits, it’s hard to ignore the physical ones too! I’m sure we’d all like to be a little healthier, lower our risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems? The good news is regular exercise that includes power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming or jogging can help! Healthier bodies and minds, inevitably go towards fewer sick days, enabling us to live life to the full, and enjoy the wonders of the Hills to the best of our abilities.
Need some inspiration? Our directory is packed full of fantastic outdoor businesses who are ready to get your blood pumping! With local North Wales Ramblers and Two Blondes Walking there to guide your way, the more technical View Ranger app will assist the more adventurous types! If you are after a leisurely pace, a wander around Bodnant Gardenswill certainly hit the spot. I encourage you to take a look, there’s bound to be something to persuade you to get the walking boots out the back of the cupboard.
I know that my early morning dog walks do wonders for both my attitude and efficiency for the rest of the day and though for many of us a long lunch many not be realistic, just 30 mins a day, broken up into 15 minute breaks if necessary, can be enough to give us the boost we need.
A study recently published by Purina, raved about the benefits of taking a dog into work, and one of the most cited bonuses, was the need to get out there at lunchtime and take it for a walk! Many of us are guilty of taking our lunch back to our desk and powering through the day, but in reality, we are much more productive after a 45 min break where we can truly change our focus, and return with a fresh perspective ready to tackle the afternoon.
Of course, as a dog (or indeed any pet) owner will tell you, the importance of exercise for our four-legged friends is crucial for their wellbeing and happiness - we all know the destruction a bored dog can bring to your favourite shoes! So why do we not commit, today, to honour our health in the same way? The fresh air, physical and mental stimulation is an amazing tonic to battle the mid-afternoon slump - so I dare you to try it this week, and watch your afternoon productivity sky-rocket!