The benefits of recreation are many, but outdoor recreation is particularly good for you, your family and society. “Empirical, theoretical, and anecdotal evidence demonstrates that contact with nature positively affects blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life, stress reduction, and behavior problems among children.” (4)
Eugene Recreation is celebrating the many surprising benefits of recreation this month. And research shows that, just being in nature “contributes to wellness“ and outdoor activities that include walking are especially beneficial.
“Brisk walking for just…half an hour each day is associated with a 30-40 percent lower risk of heart disease in women.”(4) Studies show walking for older adults manages weight, controls blood pressure, boosts “good” cholesterol, lowers risk of stroke, reduces risk of breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes, lengthens lifespan, improves sleep, and elevates overall mood and sense of well-being, just to name a few.(4)
The benefits of outdoor recreation are equally impressive for children, who spend more than “75.5 percent of their day inactive, watching television, sitting at a computer, and doing homework.”(1) This inactivity can result in “obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”(4) Multiple studies found children are most likely to be active when outdoors. And, “researchers have discovered that spending even a little time outdoors can reduce the symptoms of ADHD.”(4)
Eugene Recreation’s Outdoor Program at the River House offers activities year-around, many for families, and include hiking, tree and rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, sailing, snow shoeing, the challenge course, skiing, skateboarding, surfing, and more.
So, why do you love recreation? How does it benefit you? Post your reason to one of Rec’s Facebook pages, send us an email or write your answer on one of our “I Love Recreation” handbills that are available at any Community Center or Pool. When you give us your reason, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $50 Recreation gift card.
Recreation: building bodies and brains while having fun playing games