Enjoy the great outdoors
Autumn is an exciting time to be out and about, even just for an hour. Our coasts and estuaries are alive with the sound of migrating birds that fly here to escape the Arctic winter. Our woodlands are at their most striking, as the trees become a kaleidoscope of colour. And all kinds of creatures are making the most of the wild harvest, gathering food while they can – and you can too! Foraging for wild food is a great way to reconnect with nature. At this time of year, sweet chestnuts are on the menu – a tasty treat on Halloween or Bonfire Night.
Get some exercise
To stay fit and healthy, the NHS recommends that all adults aged between 19 and 64 should do some physical activity every day, including 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week, plus strength exercises at least twice a week. So, if you struggle to achieve this target, your extra 60 minutes will give you a head start this month. Brisk walking at 3.5 mph for one hour will burn around 315 calories, or swimming at a slow to moderate pace will burn around 420 calories. A gentle jog at around 5mph will burn around 600 calories per hour – but if you’re not a regular runner, don’t try to keep it up for 60 minutes or you might do more harm than good!
Make a Sunday roast
Once a cornerstone of British family life, the Sunday roast is slowly dying out as busy people switch to faster foods. So, with an extra hour on the morning of Sunday 27th October, why not spend it preparing a special Sunday dinner that brings the whole family together? Invite as many people as you can fit around your dining table, and make sure you give everyone plenty of notice so they’ve no excuse for not turning up. Don’t be shy about roping in some help to peel the potatoes, and if you want to add a modern twist to a traditional event, replace the roast beef with a mushroom and chestnut wellington for an eco-friendly vegan feast.
The need to find a use for every hour is a very modern phenomenon – with such busy lives, many of us feel under pressure to make productive use of all ‘free’ time. Yet being continually busy isn’t good for us – neither physically nor mentally. So, if you’re feeling a little frazzled, why not simply enjoy the extra hour and relax. Many people have taken the art of relaxing to another level through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of your own thoughts, taking notice of the sights and sounds around you, and focussing on the thoughts that flow freely into your mind. It’s not as whacky as it sounds, because short periods of mindfulness can help your mind relax and recharge. And we could all do with a bit of that.