19 Apr 4 Ways Dining Al Fresco is Good For You
With a nickname like “The Sunshine City,” it’s no wonder that St. Petersburg attracts more than six million visitors per year. People from all over the world flock to The Burg to enjoy our beaches, arts and culture, growing “foodie” scene, pro-local mentality and beautiful weather. And there’s no better way to experience all that St. Pete has to offer than to dine al fresco.
Al fresco, or “in the open air,” is a popular dining choice for St. Pete restaurant-goers. According to WalkScore.com, a website that ranks cities and neighborhoods according to “walkability” or the ease at which people can travel place to place by foot, Downtown St. Petersburg scores a 90 (out of 100). With a solid “A” in foot traffic-friendliness, it’s easy to find a great place to grab a bite outdoors. And we recommend The Queens Head, of course!
Other than the obvious benefit of enjoying great food, eating outdoors has many positive effects. Here are 4 ways dining al fresco is good for you:
1. Boosts Happiness
Light is often used therapeutically to treat different types of mental disorders. And even if you haven’t been diagnosed with such a condition, the presence of light — specifically sunlight — can bring about positive mood changes. If you live in an area where sunlight is scarce, it’s common to experience more depressive states of mind and body. Studies have shown that those who spend the majority of their time inside have higher rates of depression and anxiety. Boost your mood by enjoying lunch or dinner outside in the fresh air and in the sunlight. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St. Pete has your light-loving dining needs covered.
2. Delivers Vitamin D
According to Harvard Health Publications, “The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D.” Essentially, every outdoor excursion — or every meal you eat outdoors on a sunny day — is magically fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for the immune system, great for your heart and is believed to prevent bone disease. Exposing your skin to only 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day produces enough vitamin D to create disease-fighting properties and keeps you healthier. So get yourself some Crispy Chickpeas with a side of sunshine.
3. Activates Activity
Like attracts like — so once you’re out eating lunch in the sunshine and fresh air, you’re more likely to continue the trend by taking a stroll, jogging in the park or participating in some other form of outdoor exercise. Being outdoors is automatically associated with activity, so even if you’re not actively being active, you’re at least in the mindset to do so. You don’t even have to take part in “traditional” exercise — try gardening, walking your dog or even just opting for traveling by foot to a destination rather than riding in a car. Good habits promote other good habits. So eat well outdoors and watch as your routine becomes increasingly healthier.
4. Promotes Focus
Harvard Medical School released the following statement: “A study published in 2008 found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area.” Long story, short: Get outside and find focus faster. Even if you do, in fact, only have downtown or metropolitan areas to explore, go outdoors and get a change of scenery from your cubicle or office. Even concrete jungles contain trees and green areas — the areas that are associated with better concentration. Take a moment and appreciate these areas, or take a half-hour to enjoy an outdoor stroll and return with a newfound sense of focus.
There are many benefits of dining al fresco. We mentioned a handful above, but there are others to note:
- Your food will taste better because your senses are heightened
- The natural environment provides a more romantic setting for enjoying a meal
- The food will even look better in the natural lighting
Whatever your reason is to take in a meal outdoors, we invite you to do so at The Queens Head. Our front patio, diverse dinner menu, weekend brunch and wonderful staff will make sure that you get every benefit you can by joining us for a proper St. Petersburg/English meal.
Cheers and be well.