Benefits of Recreation in Society and on the Body
We've all heard it before, "Personal recreational activities involves
those actions that relax, refresh, and rejuvenate us" - yet how much
do we truly gain from these activities? Recreation is a healthy part
of each individual's own life and can be enjoyed by everyone. The
benefits of recreation are not only positive to the community of
today, but to the society of tomorrow.
The positive outlook on recreation is unlimited and endless in our
world. There are great things that not only improve health and
wellness, but the building of self-esteem and stress reduction (NRPA).
Recreation is a healthy alternative for positive behavior, which leads
to opportunities for learning and living a balanced, productive life.
According to NRPA recreation evolves physical, mental, and social
health related benefits that result from participating in recreational
activities. Although many other important benefits are documented,
(increased environmental stewardship, job opportunities, and a variety
of economic benefits) there are many current research documentations
on the physical aspects of recreation along with recent trends in
recreational interests. According to the Surgeon General's Report,
over 60 million people are considered overweight.
Overweight and obesity are associated with heart disease, types of
cancer, type II diabetes, respiratory problems, and psychological
problems such as depression and fatigue. Participating in meaningful
recreational activity aides in the prevention of diseases and improves
the mental health of participants.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is America's leading cause of death. Physical
inactivity is the single greatest factor leading to this disease. As a
result, exercise is especially important to public health. Bicycling
and walking can fill America's physical void of inactivity and make a
major contribution to health. Moderate activity, such as walking from
thirty to sixty minutes a day, several days a week, is associated with
significant reductions in coronary heart disease.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death, after heart disease, in
the United States. In 1994, the American Cancer Society estimated that
540,000 Americans died from cancer, while 1,210,000 new cases of the
disease occurred the same year (NRPA). Recreation, fitness, sports and
active living has been shown to help in the prevention of specific
cancers such as colon, breast and lung.
According to the 1996 Surgeon General's report, "Physical Activity and
Health," taking daily walks outside can postpone and possibly prevent
the development of type II diabetes in people who are overweight and