Community//

Recreation & Leisure: Rhythm of Life

The value of recreation & leisure is its effect on life itself. The purpose of participation is simply & fundamentally to achieve a better state of being.

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The real value of recreation and leisure is its effect on life itself. 
Look at the people around you.  
How many of them look like they enjoy life?  
How many times have you heard reference to life as a rat race? 
Life is more than existing, and an active lifestyle
can give you that extra ingredient.

Six points stand out when considering the value of participation in recreation and leisure activities.

**Fun 
**Sociability – making and keeping friends 
**Transmission of and adherence to proper values
**Deemphasize spectating 
**Supplement stimulation of physical fitness; carries over to emotional well-being
**Self-identify enhancement

Most participants determine the purpose of their engagement through their own attitudes and values. Some play for fun, some play for serious competitive reasons.  Daily activity programs are more and more a way of life.  Leisure-time pursuits not only enrich present life but adds enjoyment to the quality of life in the future.  Participation should emphasize the recreational aspect of experience.  While certain sports requiring tedious training are beneficial to the participants, equal attention to activities that can be enjoy spontaneously is important.  Fun should not be organized out of leisure activity. Participation should be enjoyable.

Participation in leisure activities afford an opportunity for individuals to achieve purposeful living. The experience allows a discovery of personal goals and builds relationship with other people and the environment.  The participant is becoming more self aware.

One of the most important values of recreation and leisure endeavors is the opportunity for individuals to respond to success and failure experiences.  A measure of success can be encouraging while failure can be motivating. The mental adjustments to success and failure is excellent training for similar experiences in other phases of life.  Success and failure elements exist whether in competition with others or as one tries to improve personal skills.  It is these elements that are of immense value to an individual’s development.

Where the physical begins and intellectual ends is difficult, if not impossible to determine. Advocates of “total development” suggest that fitness extends beyond the muscle and we must view a person as a whole.

Physical activity develops strength and endurance and the neuromuscular coordination that contribute to agility and confidence in the control of one’s movements. Participation develops the ability to handle the body gracefully and efficiently.  The qualities of strength, endurance, and agility are directly useful in meeting the stresses of everyday life.  Indirectly, they comprise a great asset for anyone through the inner confidence and self-assurance achieved. An active lifestyle is one of many ways through which we may reach the goal of total growth and development.

The learning ‘products’ of active engagement with others include qualities such as sportsmanship, appreciation of effort, and factors associated with adjustment and modification of reactions to others and their ideas. Experience in group activities broadens the individual viewpoint, enhances self-assurance when in the company of others, and teaches the meaning of loyalty and cooperation.

Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

I believe the purpose of an active lifestyle contributes to physical, social, intellectual, and emotional well-being.  A goal of participation is to enhance the quality of life, feelings of self-worth, and satisfaction through leisure pursuits.  The purpose of participation is simply and fundamentally to achieve a better state of being.

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