Things to Do on Your Lunch Break in London

London is a very challenging city that can leave us very little free time. But what shall we do?

Passively accept this and continue living between home and office with very little time for ourselves? Or shall we start doing something about it and maximize on the little free time we have to enjoy ourselves?

Discover how lunch breaks can really help to face work-related stress and give you a deserved break during a hectic day in the office, without affecting your productivity, but rather improving it.

IMPORTANCE OF TAKING A LUNCH BREAK

Many people have a sense of guilt if they take a lunch break. They feel as if they are being lazy. But what if we started having a sense of guilt if you didn’t take a lunch break?

What if companies rewarded employees that take a lunch break outside or in nature?

We are still quite a long way away from this, but more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of their staff’s wellbeing, not only to retain their workforce but to increase their productivity and ROI. Researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin found that eating at the desk makes people more stressed, less creative and more inclined to gain weight. Whereas, taking the time to step away for lunch greatly enhances one’s work ethic. “Lunch isn’t just an opportunity to nourish your body; it’s an opportunity to nourish your mental state and your mind. It’s a restorative moment to create fertile ground for creativity”. (Kimberly Elsbach, University of California, Davis).

Ok, let’s not exaggerate here and let’s try to do this step by step. Let’s start by trying to take one proper lunch break a week and try planning it ahead. The beauty of London is that it offers so much, so let’s try and do something different every week and I can assure you, the rest of your working day will feel a lot more positive!

WHAT TO DO DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK

From a simple walk to eating at the park, to explore the area where you work whilst exercising there are plenty of things you can do during your lunch break to boost your energy and switch off.

From street art to a visit at a museum, to a nice walk in a park or city farm, London is a world to discover, even in just half an hour, so make the most of it.

Check out some activities you could organize with your colleagues.

WALK, WALK WALK

With our Fitbits, our iPhones, Strava and many other apps, we are more conscious about how much we walk.

But how do we walk? A correct walking technique engages 200 muscles every step we take, but very few people are even aware of the way they walk.

From breathing to posture, to rolling our feet there is a whole science behind how to walk properly to maximize the effects of walking on our body and mind.

But let’s start by taking some time every day to walk and try reaching the recommended target of 10,000 steps daily. Going for a brisk walk during your lunch break is a fantastic way not only to get some exercise but also to refresh your mind and improve your productivity and creativity once back in the office.

FIGHT LONELINESS

London is one of the loneliest cities in the world and most people make friends only at work. So why not get a group of colleagues together and take a lunch break together every week that is not the usual Friday beer at the pub?

Sharing meaningful experiences such as walking, sightseeing and music are fantastic ways to connect to others, share interests, boost mood and have a more positive and pro-active attitude in one’s professional and personal life.

The Benefits of Dynamic Walking on your mind and body

How do you walk?

Walking is one of those actions that most of us take for granted, without realizing that the way we walk affects our whole body, from our posture to our coordination to both our upper and lower body.

Walking can also be a very effective exercise if done correctly. Let’s see what benefits walking (and especially power walking) can bring to your whole wellbeing.

 

Weight management

Power walking is an effective way to help manage your weight as it works both on the upper (better if using a set of hand-grips) and lower body.

Walking at a brisk pace of 4 mph burns anywhere from 236 to 345 calories per hour depending on your level of effort.

 

Improved Health

Incorporating regular brisk walks into your daily routine helps combat illness and disease. When done with consistency, power walking can help raise good cholesterol levels and decrease bad cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular exercises like power walking help to lower high blood pressure and lessen the risks of illnesses like type 2 diabetes. Power walking also decreases the likelihood of serious health issues like certain types of cancers and stroke.

brainwaves before and after walking

Improved Creativity and Productivity

If you want to enhance cognitive flexibility, the ability to shift thinking and to produce a steady flow of creative thoughts, walking is the way to go.

In a study out of Stanford University, subjects completed a divergent thinking test while seated and again while walking. The results showed that most of the participants benefited from walking compared with sitting, and the average increase in creative output was around 60%.

Even more interesting was that the creative boost was more evident in the group that walked outdoors, compared to the one that walked on a treadmill.

Unexpected London is on a mission to encourage a more active lifestyle by exploring London.

Sightseeing should, therefore, become a mindset: no matter whether it is only 10 minutes during your lunch break or a couple of hours at weekends, walking on a regular basis, whilst following a specific technique, is much more beneficial than a couple of hours at a gym in a week.

Get active. Get curious. Get healthy.

Let’s talk about New Year Resolutions

January is almost here, have you thought about your 2020 resolutions yet?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever set a crazy-ambitious New Year’s resolution (run a triathlon! write a book! travel around the world!) only to lose sight of it around February or so when you realize you might have bitten off a little more than you could chew.

Getting back in shape is definitely one of the most common resolutions, yet most people automatically connect this to joining a gym, so we see a huge boom in gym subscriptions in January, but how long do we last?

A staggering amount of £600 million are wasted every year in unused gym memberships, have you contributed to this in the past? If so it is time to change!

Here are our top three tips on how to be more active in 2019 with no need for a gym and learn how to exercise without realizing!

WALK, WALK, WALK

very often when you are in central London it takes less time or the same amount of time to walk rather than getting public transport.

So do so? But don’t take always the same route, try new ones every time, that will take you exactly the same amount of time but will show you different streets and areas.

No matter if you are late, power walking is most probably the most reliable means of transport as you don’t risk being held up on a train or on a bus.

Sightseeing is extremely beneficial for both your body and mind, no matter whether it is for 10 minutes or half an hour, enjoy everything that is surrounding you and as you do so focus on your breathing and on making every muscle of your bodywork (every step we take engages 200 muscles, so use them!).

Walk up and down the stairs, feel your abs whilst walking, look after your posture and you will see some incredible benefits.

TAKE A LUNCH BREAK

we know, most Londoners think that taking lunch breaks is almost a signal of being lazy and so they quickly eat a sandwich in front of their computer whilst never stop working.

This is not good and is actually counterproductive! OUR BRAIN NEEDS A BREAK.

Breaks are incredibly beneficial to increase our productivity, creativity and improve our mood.

Try to:

  • Short Walk

Go out for a little walk even if it is just for 10-15 minutes and look around, explore the area where you work.

  • Switch Off

Try not using your phone, switch off and try to discover something new every day.

You will feel a lot more energised when you get back to the office. Need a hand with this?

Get in touch and we are happy to send you a list of at least 10 places you should see in your area! If you struggle to do so do it after work rather than going to the same old pub!

EXPERIENCE LONDON

London is the world in a city, you never stop discovering it and it never stops amazing you.

But how much time do you spend to explore it? Research shows how regular breaks and sightseeing are a lot more beneficial to our mental and physical health than just a few long holidays a year.

Try to discover something new every week, join an experience, go for a walking tour or adventure in areas that you don’t know, get inspired and get active!

Check out a few London experiences that will get you active and fit without realizing whilst enjoying London to the full.