Category Archives: Recreation

How to Start and Improve Your Recreational Running

How to Start and Improve Your Recreational Running

Recreational running as the name suggests is leisure or fun running. Though running has been around for as long as the humans have existed, recreational running has become more common in today’s world. Where as some people have made recreational running part of their lifestyles most of them have still yet to get started. Knowing the benefits of recreational running is a vital part in making the decision whether to pursue it or not. Before we look at how to get started with fitness or leisure running, here are some of the main benefits:

o Promotes healthy lifestyle, helps in losing extra body weight

o Reduces life related stresses and brain fatigue

o Refreshes and relaxes the mind hence the whole body

o Improves the general body strength, endurance, power and stamina by building muscle

o Can lead to competitive running sometimes

o Boosts the immunity of the body (most people who engage in recreational running rarely get sick)

o Great form of entertainment

These are just a few of the benefits, but the next question is how can someone with no prior experience start recreational running? Here are some of the helpful tips to help you get started and continue to make it part of your lifestyle:

1. Do your physicals: – Seek medical advice from your physician to make sure that your health status can allow you to pursue recreational running. It is especially important for people who are overweight to consult with their physician to ensure that they are physically able to run or jog without overstressing their body systems.

2. Find a trainer or coach: – Once you have been cleared by your physician, you need to sit down with your trainer or personal instructor who will advise you accordingly. With the help of your trainer or coach, set some realistic goals. Your trainer can help you decide on the right training shoe and tracksuit. Remember to start slow, it is really tempting to put too much on your plate the first time and not be able to get started. Most people get discouraged early in the process as a result of taking too many steps at one time. One step at a time is all you need and before you know, one step becomes a mile and a mile eventually becomes a couple of miles each day. Your goals should not become an obsession; but rather they should just be motivating factors. Remember recreational running should be fun and entertaining not a job.

3. Join recreational runner friends, groups or clubs: Unlike other recreational sports such as indoor games, fitness running is more challenging physically and mentally. Having other people with similar or same interests around is significant for progress. This is especially important for support when the going becomes more challenging. It is also easier to achieve your goals if you treat recreational running as a social activity, after all you are having fun with friends. If for some reason you can’t find others to run or jog with, you can always take your dog for company, he/she will really enjoy doing that and it is great for his/her health too.

4. Participate in fun competitive races: One good goal to include in recreational running is to compete on fun road running. This is a great motivator for both beginners and experienced recreational runners alike. Running or jogging and finishing a 5 K, 10K, half marathon fun race is a wonderful experience that only the competitor is able to explain. There is something special about running with hundreds or thousands of other runners. By this point, recreational running will have become part of your live.

5. Take breaks to recover: I am sure you trainer or coach is knowledgeable enough to include breaks in your training program. The body needs to recover in order for it to make any progress. The principle behind improving your performance in any sport whether recreational or professional is “recovery and adaptation”. The simple explanation of this principle is, training stresses the body, but recovery enables it to recover and adapt to the new level of stress. So the more you train the better you become as long as you recover and do everything else right. Ideally, you can rest 1 – 3 days every week depending on your level of training and your goals. It is also significant to take a complete rest once every few months and do something else like swimming, playing tennis or anything else you enjoy doing other than running for fun.

Other key points to take into account for successful recreational running include:

o Eating healthy: always stay on top of healthy balance diet. It will only help your progress if you eat right, you don’t have to worry about counting calories.

o Hydrate always: Remember almost 75 percent of our bodies are made up of fluids. It is always healthy to drink as much water as possible. This can be supplemented with sports drinks or 100 percent juices. Avoid drinking carbonated drinks if you can, they only help to dehydrate your body.

o Supplements are vital: Mineral and vitamin supplements are crucial for your body’s well being especially when you are involved in recreational sport of any kind.

This is not an exhaustive guide to recreational running but it is a good starting place. There are numerous resources to find more information online. Start recreational running today and enjoy a new fulfilling healthy lifestyle.

Health Benefits of Leisure

Health Benefits of Leisure

No matter how much you are engrossed in your daily schedule of going to your school/work and coming back home carrying the burden of the pressures from the outside world, there comes a point in each and everyone’s life when the body and mind needs a break from the daily responsibilities and pressures of life! I needn’t explain the amount of stress and related health issues that the demanding lifestyle of today imposes on each and everyone of us. With so many deadlines to complete and bills to pay, who can even think of taking out time to spend on some leisure activities? Right? I mean one would rather focus on doing some pending job or sleep at home, rather than arranging to go out and waste one’s time doing ‘non-productive’ activities.

If that is what you think, then you need to understand how you are depriving yourself from living a healthy and happy life.

Health Benefits of Leisure and Recreation

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! This saying is definitely based on the fact that almost each and every person is suffering from, or is under the risk of developing health and mental conditions due to stress and pressure. According to the National Health Interview Survey, 75% of the population suffers from stress in every two weeks. This means that getting involved in leisure activities once in a year is not sufficient to refresh your mind and reduce stress. You need to get involved in leisure activities at least once in a week… this is why we have weekends, remember! Even God wants you to take a break and relax quite often! Have a look at the health benefits of leisure activities in children and adults mentioned below and give yourself a chance to breathe and relax.

Physical Health Benefits of Leisure

We all would agree to the fact that getting involved in leisure and recreational activities acts as a stress buster, right? With the absence of leisure activities in one’s life, the prolonged existence of stress also triggers various physical health complications like heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on. Mentioned below are some key points on how leisure can prove to be beneficial to physical health.

✦ Reduces Obesity
Desk jobs that adults do, or absence of physical activities for children can lead to obesity, which itself is linked to various health issues. So, instead of joining a gym, spend some ‘fun’ time in activities like hiking, camping, skiing, and swimming to shed those extra kilos.

✦ Reduces Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases
As mentioned earlier, a combination of stress and obesity can lead you under the risk zone of various chronic diseases like diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure, Osteoporosis and even cancer! Because engaging in recreational activities reduces the risk factors like stress and obesity, it also reduces the chances of developing these diseases.

✦ Strengthens Your Immune System
Research reveals that people who are more physically active tend to have reduced stress levels in their body and mind. They are less likely to fall ill and have reduced medical expenses and hospital stays as compared to a person who is physically inactive.

✦ Increases Life Expectancy
Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy, and happy life? And it is possible only when one tends to bring about a balance in work and play and focuses on spending some quality time in doing both. A balanced lifestyle is the only key to a healthy and prosperous living.

Mental Health Benefits of Leisure

Both mental and physical health, is interrelated to each other! If you are at a mental equilibrium, you will also be able to achieve a physical equilibrium. We have already discussed the physical health benefits of leisure activities, now let us have a look at the mental aspect of it.

✦ Reduces Stress Levels
Too much of pressure and load leads to stress. So, what should one do to relieve stress? Take off the pressure from your mind which is possible by relaxing yourself through some leisure activities. Enjoy the summers by swimming, taking a sunbath, or go camping with friends and family over the weekend. All this will definitely help you reduce your stress levels and rejuvenate your mind.

✦ Minimizing the Chances of Depression
Most of the people suffering from depression have led themselves under this condition due to too much pressure from either work or family conditions. With you allowing your mind to relax, calm down, and rejuvenate often, there are less chances that you would suffer from mental conditions like anxiety and depression.

✦ Increases Self-esteem
Most of the people following a monotonous schedule in their daily life, and dealing with pressures, unrealistic expectations and load of work and responsibilities at the same time, tend to develop a low self-esteem, which is the first step towards getting into depression. With leisure and recreational activities giving you a chance to end the monotony of life and explore the ‘fun’ and ‘relaxing’ aspects of it, you will find an increase in your self-esteem.

✦ Increases the Enthusiasm of Living Life
With all the aforementioned benefits of leisure activities, you will eventually see yourself living your life with a lot of enthusiasm. Of course, there will be work pressures, family responsibilities and the never ending expectations and demands, but taking a ‘break’ will definitely give you an enthusiasm of living life to the fullest!

Objectives of Recreation

Objectives of Recreation

We all need a break from work; we need to break from our mundane routine and refresh ourselves by indulging in recreational activities. Recreation is meant to serve as a relaxing break from our hectic schedule; it is meant to serve as the means to rejuvenate ourselves. Recreation is anything pleasurable. For some, it means traveling to the wilds, while others recreate by pursuing their hobbies. For some, recreation means enjoying indoor games, while others derive pleasure from camping and hiking. Recreation can mean different things to different people, but it is, for sure, a refreshing break from monotony. One of the prime objectives of recreation is to relieve you from stress. It also aims at providing you with social engagement. It is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.

Recreational activities give you an opportunity to be with your loved ones. An outing with your family or a picnic with close friends refreshes not only your mind and body, but also your relationship with your dear ones.

Recreational forms such as traveling and camping take you close to nature. The company of nature always proves to be an excellent relaxation to the mind and body. Spending time watching the night sky, lazing around on a beach, walking in the woods, or just being in the proximity of nature in some quiet place in the countryside freshens the mind and is healthy for the body.

Recreational activities serve as a fruitful investment of time. Hobbies such as reading or surfing the web can help you gain useful and interesting information. The pursuit of an art form of your choice can give you immense pleasure, and also help you achieve mastery in the field. Traveling or watching a play or a movie can be both entertaining and educational. Engaging in an activity you like (be it gaming, chatting with friends, writing, photography, or any other) helps you fight boredom. Thus, recreation leads to a good use of time. Every time, you may not get something tangible. But it gives you immense happiness.

Recreational activities that involve risk and adventure help you develop confidence. Those like trekking and camping train you to face adversity. Adventure sports help build a daring attitude. Engaging in sports helps you develop team spirit. Recreation in the form of group activities or team games helps build teamwork and also develops planning and organizing skills. Such activities help in the enhancement of interpersonal skills as well. Thus, recreation can aid in the development of your personality.

Outdoor Recreational Activities

Outdoor Recreational Activities

Recreational activities are the one thing we look forward to when the week rolls to a finish. Guys kickback with friends/colleagues, most schoolmates/college kids plan a weekend at the movies or binging on junk food, couples wonder where to go next this weekend and so on. Here you will discover there’s more to a weekend than just the usual popcorn and a movie/sitting at home while popping in that favorite DVD. It’s time to get off that behind, and do something outdoorsy or try something you’ve never done before. Everything featured here can be experimented with, from extreme sports to fun backyard activities and more. Outdoor recreational activities will give you a chance to get active, pump up your adrenaline level whilst experiencing a whole new meaning of having fun.

List of Activities to Do on Outdoor Recreation

Some recreational activities can be a little childish, but there’s no harm in tapping into that little child-like side in you. These activities can be done not just over the weekends, but even on long holidays away from home with family/friends. It can be a nice time to bond and get to know the other even better, including how good they are at outdoor activities. Picnics, work outings, college/school trips, summer vacations, camp activities and so on, can try out some of these activities. There are some outdoor recreation activities for kids, where parental supervision may be needed for some of them.

There are some games that are kid-friendly, and can be tried out by adults as well. The other games that seem a little dangerous, need supervision like I mentioned earlier.

Lemon Race: I used to play this game in school all the time; all you need is a certain number of lemons based on how many people are there (one for each) and tablespoons for each contestant. Everyone stands at the starting line; with anyone opting to play the role of referee, drawing the finish line some 20 feet away. Contestants are supposed to hold the spoon handle in their mouth (not all the way), balancing the lemon on it, while racing to the finish line without dropping it. Anyone who drops it, has to step away from the others, while the rest move ahead cautiously towards the finish line.
Dodgeball: I’m sure many of you are familiar with this game. It is usually played indoors, but you can give it a shot outside. It needs about 6 – 12 players and a ball (not too hard, foam-like). Players have to be divided into two teams, both competing against the other to see how many players can be eliminated from the game. Rules state that if a ball hits the opposing team member, they must leave play area and sit aside, but if someone on the eliminated person’s team catches the ball thrown by the opposing team, without getting hit, then he can choose who he/she wants back in the game. Mark points around the area where everyone is playing. Anyone who crosses these points/boundaries, is out. When all players are removed from the game of an opposing team, the game’s over. Do your research before you plan to play it, to be clear about the rules.
Paintballing: This game will keep you coming back for more. Amusement parks usually have a sprawling area, meant only for paintball fanatics; with hide outs and weird structures big and small in size to take cover in. You can divide yourselves into two teams, and start off by spreading out and gunning down your enemies. One uses paint ball pellets that burst into different colors on contact. It comes loaded with quite a bit of pellets, giving you a hands on shooting experience, with paintball guns and not just the kind that keeps kids glued to their gaming consoles.
Bungee Jumping: If you haven’t tried out this extreme sport, I suggest you try it out now. It’s exhilarating and the ultimate adrenaline pumping activity (paragliding too by the way). It isn’t as scary as it looks. Most of you will want to do it more than once. Just make sure you perform this act on an empty stomach though.
Sack Race: The much-loved sack race is a favorite activity tried out by kids/adults worldwide. All you need is a gunny sack and either two people pairing up, or just single persons. All contestants have to place the gunny bag on the floor, slide inside it, lift it up around them and hop to the finish line. First one there wins. Those who fall can get up and continue on.
Freeze Tag: Who doesn’t like to play this game? It’s an energetic game where players assign one person as ‘it’, as others run away from him/her. When someone gets tagged by the one who’s ‘it’, he/she has to freeze in place, until someone else runs by and tags them again to be able to resume running away from the person who’s ‘it’.

I hope these different recreational activities will give you an opportunity to try something different, when time permits. There are some other activities that you can do depending on the time of season. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to these recreational activities. It’ll give you a chance to remember all the fun you had, by doing something extraordinary for a change. Here is a small list of different recreational activities that you can refer to for some help.

Building a snow man
Snowball fights
Building an igloo
Nature walks
Trekking/Mountain climbing

It’s good to have a little active time now and then, or it’s just going to run you down, leaving you lethargic all day long, everyday. Mark it on your calendar and make it a point to try out any of these activities whenever family’s visiting or when you find you have nothing else to do. Recreational activities can keep you fit, and boost energy levels too. Have a good time!