‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy’ – something we were taught in kindergarten, but something we forgot along the way. Although we are all aware of the need and benefits of leisure, it’s not until something seriously goes wrong with our health or relationships that we start thinking about it. The importance of leisure has been so vividly understood, that companies and organization’s are slowly beginning to regulate overtime and over-working, and are encouraging employees to take time off during weekends and holidays. They no longer encourage late-nights, but instead prefer their employees to check-in and check-out at the correct timings and work more productively during office hours. So, what has caused this change? To understand that, let’s look at some of the major benefits of leisure.
1.Healthier and longer life:
The health benefits of leisure are well-known. People use their leisure time to engage in activities that include both exercises as well as other stress-relieving recreational activities. Exercises provide a lot of health benefits such as cardiovascular benefits, reducing cholesterol and hypertension, improving spinal and neurological problems, increasing bone mass and muscles, increasing lung capacity, and improving overall wellness. Entertainment activities also has its share of benefits by relieving stress, reducing tension, soothing mind and body, bringing about positive changes in attitude, and improving social communication and interaction. These psychological changes also impact physical health in a positive manner.
If you need to exercise or relax, you need the time, space, and opportunity to do so. The places of recreation are unlimited these days. It is a complete industry in itself like the hospitality industry. Leisure and fun-time activities are a big-time business today. Whether it is the play station and play areas at the malls and cinemas, or the resorts where you just spend your weekend, all are intended to ensure you enjoy and relax yourself. And while you relax there are others working around to ensure you get the complete benefit of a holiday. And all this simply means that there is a whole new world of job and business opportunities. Travel and tourism is believed to generate more money flow and income within and between countries. It generates more income than even the agriculture and automobile industries.
Leisure has lots of social benefits that are not easily noticed or widely advertised, but make a significant difference to the society. A work-oriented society will not find many opportunities for the growth of art, culture, and sports. Leisure is what provides the opportunities for the growth of these activities. Recreational activities also encourage tourism and that in turn promotes awareness of culture and history.
4.Strengthens family bonds:
Leisure not only promotes the creation of a better society but also promotes the bonds of family ties. Setting aside time for recreation ensures that you spend more time with family, especially the special people in the family like the elderly and little children. Spending time with family and friends strengthens relationships and thereby strengthens the society as a whole. This integration brings about social cohesion and adds more meaning to life.
Although in an indirect manner, leisure also contributes to the protection of the environment. The need to create recreational places compels people to look into maintaining a clean and green environment. This leads to the maintenance and protection of the environment from harmful elements. Be it our local park or the forest resorts that we enjoyed our holidays in, all these in their own little way contribute toward a greener environment. Thus, leisure is essential not only to ensure a healthy body, an active mind, and strong relationships; but in its own way, it also contributes to a better economy and a better environment. benefits of leisure
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