Now that spring is here, you might feel nature calling you to spend more time outside gardening or exercising. Those activities have obvious benefits, but did you know that spending any time out in nature at all provides distinct health benefits? Taking your meals outside, too, can improve your quality of life. Here are 7 reasons to go on a picnic today.
with Family and Friends
Going on a picnic with friends or family offers a special kind of bonding and quality time. Many people find themselves so busy these days and feel attached to their smart phones. With the blurred lines between work and family time, meals can feel like a constant battle to maintain the other diners’ attention. People are more likely to accept a no-screens rule when they are out in nature. It is the perfect time to talk. And, people might feel more relaxed and open away from home or the office.
2. Improved Relationships
Families who eat meals together see improved relationships with each other and better behavior from children. A picnic is beneficial because it usually occurs in a place where children have an opportunity to play, which will improve everyone’s enjoyment of the time together. Children will love the opportunity for some focused family time, which will likely create better days ahead for everyone.
3. Adventures in the Making
If your picnic is part of a larger road trip or adventure, it is a wonderful opportunity to take in new sites or admire a new view. Eating your meal at a scenic overlook provides you and your family the time to really absorb the beauty of the place.
4. Better Mental Health
Spending time outside in the fresh air and sunshine is linked to improved mental health. Though researchers are not yet sure why, studies show again and again that after just ten minutes outside in a natural setting, our tension decreases as measured in our muscle tension and blood pressure. Other studies show that spending time outside decreases cortisol, a stress hormone in our bodies, and helps improve mood disorders.
5. Low-Cost Social Activity
Going on a picnic with friends is a creative low-cost social activity. Everyone can contribute and you rarely have to worry about a rental fee. All you need is a blanket or two or a park with picnic tables. Because everyone will naturally be in a better mood, it will be even more fun. Picnics are also an opportunity for adults to play in ways they might not at home. Bring a frisbee or a soccer ball and invite everyone to play.
6. Fun Meal Preparation
Picnics, whether they are for just a few people or several family groups, afford everyone a chance to contribute to the meal. Since they are less formal that other types of meals, mix-and-match potlucks work well, and everyone has an opportunity to choose their favorite dish or treat to bring. Picnic foods are often easier to prepare, too, so children can have a hand in their preparation. The event is a lot less stressful for everyone when people cooperate.
7. Health Benefits
Taking your meals outside also offers a variety of physical health benefits. Walking to your eating site, breathing in the fresh air, and absorbing Vitamin D is just the beginning. Playing with children can get your heart pumping and boost serotonin levels. Picnics are also the perfect time to indulge in healthy foods that do not require constant refrigeration such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking the time to improve your mental health and mood in nature is linked to diminished chronic health problems and overall improved health.
Organizing a picnic is well worth the effort and an easy way to improve your life and the lives of your friends and family members. It is also the perfect time to try out new, easy recipes, especially using the bright flavors of the season. Aronia berries are a superfood that contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which makes them a perfect addition to your picnic repertoire. Superberries Frozen Aronia berries go well in bars, crumbles, or scone recipes, and Superberries Aronia Berry Concentrate can be used to make light spritzers, the perfect refreshing drink for your picnic. And Aroniaberry Gummy Chews are great on-the-go snacks. Everyone will love their bright colors and bold flavor, and their myriad health benefits are a definite plus.