At Compare Cover, we understand the health benefits of taking a 30-minute walk during lunch, whether you're on lunch break from work or simply want to take a midday stroll. In honour of National Walk @ Lunch Day and National Walking Month, why not take the whole family for a walking lunch with you as well?
Picnics are a UK tradition and can be incredibly popular for the whole family. The Tourism Alliance found that picnics or barbeques were enjoyed on 7.16 million domestic trips in the UK in 2014. A walking lunch with the whole family might be a modern approach to picnics, whilst also offering health advantages over the more traditional approach.
There are plenty of locations across the UK where families can spend a relaxing day sharing a meal and walking in nature. Many also provide the necessary space and, sometimes, the activities that you can enjoy with family before or after eating - from a round of frisbee and a game of hide-and-seek to a treasure hunt and a hula hoop contest.
Quiz-based activities like 'two truths, one lie' or counting how many animals of one species you can find can be played while walking and eating at the same time. Engaging in activities is great to make that quality time with family more enjoyable.
Nearly 2,000 Brits were polled by Seabrook about their picnic habits, with the results suggesting that times are changing. While in the 1960s you may have found cheese sandwiches, tea and biscuits a part of a family picnic, Seabrook found that people are now picnicking with crisps, salad, bread and fruit, as well as cured meats and olives.
The same goes for drinks. Orange squash used to be considered a popular option, but 17% of UK citizens now prefer fizzy diet drinks while 33% take sparkling wines such as Prosecco or chilled beers with them.
Choosing the right spot for a walking lunch and deciding the family activities to partake in are only the first steps, as it could be just as important to choose the right meal. After all, when on the move it could be important to think about the foods and beverages that can be easily consumed while on a stroll. The perfect picnic, then, will have to include no-fuss foods that will not make a mess.
Planning a great picnic also means ensuring everything is safe in the heat. While a walking picnic means eating while, before or after walking, it is also crucial that food will not spoil if the weather is warm. Seafood, for instance, can go bad quickly. Perishable foods, in general, can be left out in the heat for about an hour at around 32 degrees celsius, and up to two hours if the weather is cooler.
It is not surprising that 44% of the food taken to modern picnics is made up of crisps. These snacks are easy to eat while on the go, which makes them a good option for walking lunches, and the same could apply to nuts and dried food. Sandwiches, wraps, bagels, granola bars and scones, for instance, could be easily eaten while walking too.
All food and drinks need to be taken in the appropriate containers. It may be easier to drink your beverage, whether it's water, juice or something hot, through a thermos. The same could be true for soup; drinking it out of a cup or Tupperware container could make it easier than if a spoon is needed.
Keeping it simple is key! A walking lunch offers health benefits that the whole family can enjoy while spending quality time together. Being healthy can influence the way your life insurance premiums are calculated, so you could make some changes today and reap the results tomorrow.
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