Taking part in recreational activities, particularly outdoors, can improve your physical wellness. In fact, people who frequently take advantage of park activities have fewer doctor visits, lower body mass indexes and lower systolic blood pressures than those who don’t, according to Dr. Laura L. Payne of the University of Illinois. A 2005 California State Parks report also highlights that outdoor recreation provides an excellent opportunity to increase exercise. It cites a 2001 study revealing that the availability of recreational facilities in a location impacts the amount of physical activity in which residents participate.
Definition of Leisure
Leisure is the time when you are not working and you can relax and do things that you enjoy. Or free, unoccupied time during which a person may indulge in rest, recreation, etc.
Leisure time or free time, is a period of time spent out of work and essential domestic activity. It is also the period of discretionary time before or after compulsory daily activities such as eating and sleeping, going to work or running a business, attending school and doing homework, household chores, and day-to-day stress. The distinction between leisure and compulsory activities is loosely applied, i.e. people sometimes do work-oriented tasks for pleasure as well as for long-term utility
Types of leisure
- Active leisure activities involve the exertion of physical or mental energy. Low-impact physical activities include walking and yoga, which expend little energy and have little contact or competition. High-impact activities such as kick-boxing and soccer consume much energy and are competitive. Some active leisure activities involve almost no physical activity, but do require a substantial mental effort, such as playing chess or painting a picture. Active leisure and recreation overlap significantly.
- Passive leisure activities are those in which a person does not exert any significant physical or mental energy, such as going to the cinema, watching television, or gambling on slot machines. Some leisure experts discourage these types of leisure activity, on the grounds that they do not provide the benefits offered by active leisure activities. For example, acting in a community drama (an active leisure activity) could build a person’s skills or self-confidence. Nevertheless, passive leisure activities are a good way of relaxing for many people.
Active leisure is divided into three categories of activity:
• Social leisure, where the primary focus is socializing with family and friends;
• Cognitive leisure, where the focus is on hobbies, games, and other mentally stimulating activities; and
• Physical leisure, which encompasses sports and exercise.
These activities often occur outside the home and typically involve contact with other.
Principles governing good leisure
- Leisure experiences can vary from person to person.
- Participating in leisure experiences is inherently good and is valued by society.
- Leisure experiences provide youth with many meaningful benefits.
- People must have freedom from those things that prevent them from enjoying leisure in order to have freedom to make choices leading to personally meaningful leisure experiences.
- Obstacles to leisure participation can be overcome.
- Leisure options and opportunities are abundant and can be found in home, school, work, and many other community places.
- Both youth with and without disabilities benefit when they share leisure experiences.
- Everyone, regardless of ability, receives support to participate in leisure activities.
- Inclusion happens when youth, both with and without disabilities are included, on an equal basis, in the same leisure environments.
- Families play a critical role in the leisure education of their child.
Importance of leisure
Physical Benefits of Recreation
Leisure Lowers Stress and Depression
Mental wellness is an important part of your overall health and can impact your physical well-being. Participating in leisure and recreation activities can help you better manage stress and reduce depression. Leisure provides you the chance to find balance in your life; it also puts you in control of how you’re spending your time, which is an important consideration because you may feel overwhelmed by obligations. Taking part in leisure activities as a family is also beneficial for your kids because you’re modeling healthy ways to handle stress and emotions. Participating in leisure activities regularly reduces depression; in fact, just thinking about past outdoor recreation experiences can improve mood, according to the 2005 California State Parks report.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Finding balance is also a reason why leisure and recreation can enhance your quality of life. Physical recreation, in particular, is associated with improved self-esteem. In addition, you’re more likely to feel satisfied about your life when you regularly take part in recreation activities. This has significant implications for your mental health and, in turn, your physical health. In fact, 90 percent of respondents in a 2000 American Recreation Coalition study reported being satisfied with their health and fitness. In contrast, 60 percent of those who didn’t take part in such activity reported not being satisfied with their health and fitness.
Abuse of leisure today
- Sometimes people may involve themselves in unproductive activities during leisure time.
- Such activities include:
a) Watching or reading pornographic material.
b) Taking drugs such as alcohol and bhang.
c) Indulging in pre-marital sex, which leads to unwanted pregnancies, early marriages and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
d) Involving oneself in groups that may lead one to bad behaviours such as rape, stealing, killing and school strikes.
- Such activities do not help one develop emotionally, physically or spiritually.
- The result of the misuse of leisure is very expensive in that those who do bad things end up becoming a burden to others and more so to their parents or guardians.
- People who take drugs are not able to take care of themselves or others.
- We need to remember that God wants us to spend our time wisely for the glory of His name.
- During leisure time, He wants us to do good work that will benefit others and ourselves.