IMPORTANCE OF RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Everyone needs to take a break every now and then. Whether it’s because of a job, relationships, or otherwise, stress is something that is known to have various well-known effects on both the body and the mind. For this reason, there has been a growing body of research into the effects of recreation, particularly the benefits of making some time for recreational activities.
According to current research, there are marked benefits of recreation. Of those benefits, people who make time for recreational activities exhibit a greater level of overall alertness and, perhaps most importantly, are much more resilient to stress and anxiety. It’s even been found that participating in recreational groups and socially-supported physical activities has been able to decrease overall stress levels, alleviate anxiety, and even reduce symptoms of certain neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, people who enjoy recreational activities regularly are more inclined to participate in volunteer work, which causes a community-level ripple effect due to being beneficial for people beyond just those who are enjoying the recreation.
In addition to recreation and leisurely activities being able to decrease overall stress and anxiety levels, studies show that populations of individuals who make time for recreation exhibit much lower obesity levels, improves self-esteem and self-worth, and results in lower rates of depression. Moreover, there are countless social benefits to recreation. For instance, those who make time for recreation and leisure report experiencing a strong sense of community and belonging; in turn, this further enhances one’s sense of self-value and makes individuals better able to develop healthy relationships with others.
Speaking of the social aspects of recreation, one of the most understated benefits of leisurely activities is that they’re a social experience, giving individuals an opportunity to make connections with others. Similarly, individuals who participate in leisurely and recreational activities with family members, friends, and other loved ones often feel that their relationships are stronger and generally better. The reason for this is because shared recreational activities are essentially “quality time” spent with others, which facilitates social skills as well as relationship-building.