What about a picnic? OK, it’s much better if the weather is fine, and a bit of a nightmare if it’s absolutely pouring with rain, but it’s relaxing, civilised and the whole family enjoys it.
It can be great for socialising with friends or families for lunch, afternoon tea or on a summers evening, and provides an easy going environment to catch up and entertain. Here are the Top 10 ideas from Samir Becic, of Health Fitness Revolution fame, and the author of the book ‘ReSYNC Your Life’.
- Outdoors – Spending time outdoors, basking in nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a great view. The pure air invigorates you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. For those with respiratory disorders, breathing clean air helps clear the lungs.
- Family bonding – Spending time with family is always a great bonding experience. In the fast-paced, urbane lifestyle of today there is often limited time for maintaining relationships with some of the most important people in your life. Staying engaged with your family and friends can help build stronger bonds and foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.
- Enables communication – Since picnics often take place in warm environments, the tendency to participate in relaxing small talk is high. Simply keeping updated on what is going on in other people’s lives and learning what their plans can improve relationships. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the party to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another.
- Grants time for self-reflection – While picnics offer many social benefits, you don’t have to spend the entire time chatting up a storm. Picnics offer an excellent opportunity for you to spend time meditating about your life, the decisions you have made and the decisions you will make.
- Foster healthy eating habits – Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out and particularly so for when you bring food for a picnic. The typical portrait of picnics present a wicker basket full of fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains. These foods provide nutrients such as fibre, calcium and essential vitamins.
- Stay active: Regular picnics can foster a family ritual where young ones are introduced to sports, games, and nature and encourages adults to partake in physical activities as well. Mini games between family and friends like tug-of-war, 2-hand-touch or flag football and kickball can be played before a meal to help induce a feeling of achievement prior to a well-deserved meal, while playing more casual games like horseshoes and bean bag toss can serve as a relaxing but still active activity. Even consuming the healthy food usually provided at picnics keeps you energetic and active through the day.
- Mood booster – Eating lunch outdoors is a natural mood booster. You can be amazed how much the lack of sun in your body can affect your mood. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine, or a nice breeze that just puts you in good mood and motivates you making you want to get some exercise.
- Relieves stress – Picnics are a great stress buster as it helps reduce the stress and anxiety related to work and home. Being an adult isn’t always easy and it’s great to be able to ease up on the responsibility from time to time by lounging in the sunlight.
- Builds stronger bones – The vitamin D we get from the sun is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Getting enough vitamin D can help you reduce your chances of getting bone deterioration diseases like osteoporosis. For children, regular sun exposure helps increase the process of growth and height and can decrease the risk of rickets. The sun also provides benefits to your skin by providing a nice, warm, sun-kissed glow.
- Saves money – Picnics are known to be quite inexpensive. All you have to do is prepare meals at home and head out to a park or picnic area.
- For some great picnic feasts, check out bbcgoodfood.com