Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Benefits of Recreation

Outdoor Adventures May Turn You Into A Superhero... Like Kevin Starner (above)
We all know recreation is fun, but did you realize that it is vital to your well being. Sometimes it's easy to forget that God created us to be active in His creation. The very first thing He did with Adam is give him a purposeful activity (work) in the great outdoors. We weren't designed to be inside sitting in a chair being relatively inactive. It's not good for our body, our mind, our emotions, or our soul. The fastest way to grow old is to do nothing. As Athletic Trainer (and my best friend) Chuck Peterman puts it, "It's not that people become old; it's that they become inactive." It's not that people are wearing out; it's that they are rusting out. Outdoor recreation is not only fun, but it literally changes every aspect of your life in a positive way. It certainly can't fill the the whole in our soul (only Jesus can do that), but it does make every aspect of our life better. The California Outdoor Recreation Planning Program (CORPP) did an extensive study into the benefits of recreation and found that recreation has the following positive impacts on individuals, as well as society:
  • helps prevent (or control) obesity
  • boosts the immune system
  • diminishes the risk of diseases
  • increases life expectancy
  • contributes to one's mental health
  • contributes to one's quality of life
  • decreases depression
  • relieves stress
  • improves self esteem
  • aids in personal growth
  • strengthens communities
  • promotes social bonds
  • supports the youth by improving their education
  • supports the youth by deterring negative behaviors
  • increases family bonds
The report summarized their findings about recreation by stating that, "It can provide multiple benefits all at the same time... The combined values that may be gained are almost endless... Recreation provides us with family and community bonds that last a lifetime."

As the Director of an Outdoor Adventure Ministry I can verify that I have seen these benefits happen over and over again. We must resist the notion that recreation is something that we only do when we are kids and it is somehow unimportant. If we adopt these notions then we start dying away. I encourage you to get involved in outdoor recreation. And I invite you to do an event with us where we combine recreation with worship to create a God-awesome complete experience. Now go play! ... and to read a devotion that I wrote that is similar to this topic called Have Fun click here. To check out one of our Upcoming Events click here.

God Bless,
duG <><