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Importance of Leisure & Recreation for Health

Importance of Leisure & Recreation for Health

Lisa Croff

The holidays are over. The days are getting longer. New year’s resolutions are in full swing. Statistics show that the top two changes Americans want to make, in 2017, are to improve their overall health and improve their overall lives. It’s well known that outdoor recreation lends itself to both physical and mental health benefits. In fact, the two are so linked that improving one directly improves the other. It’s the perfect time to get out to one of the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks for some healthy recreation.

Physical Benefits of Recreation

Taking part in recreational activities, especially outdoors, can greatly improve physical health. People who take part in park activities such as walking, hiking, or skiing, schedule fewer office visits, maintain lower body fat percentages, and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Mental Health Improvements

Mental wellness is critical to overall physical health. Participating in recreational activities helps manage stress. Taking time to nurture oneself provides a sense of balance and self-esteem, which can directly reduce anxiety and depression.

Improving the Quality of your Life

It’s all about balance. Americans are busier than ever. Finding a way to balance the pressures of work and family with physical and mental wellbeing is important. People who make recreation a priority are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives overall, according to an American Recreation Coalition Study, 2000. In fact, 90 percent of respondents who said they participate in regular, outdoor recreation reported satisfaction with their overall lives. Contrast that to 60 percent life satisfaction for respondents who do not regularly recreate outdoors. It’s clear that simply going outdoors and moving your body is a direct way to a happier, healthier you. So, don’t wait. Grab your Huron-Clinton Metroparks pass and Get Out and Play!

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