This week, we have a NEW author! Introducing Dany Losh, a Senior Manager at the RFC. Dany as enjoyed working at the RFC for over 25 years sharing her passion of recreation and fitness with SAS employees and currently manages our Recreation, Leisure, and On-Site Services Team. Today Dany is sharing with us how recreation helps us stay balanced and healthy!
by Dany Losh, Sr. Manager, Recreation and Fitness Center
Is recreation a priority in your life? It should be.
Recreation is a word that has many meanings to many people. It can be done alone or with thousands. Dictionary.com defines recreation as 1. refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like 2. a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.
As a recreation professional, recreation not only "puts food on the table," it's been in my life for as long as I can remember. It's me doing what I love and feel passionate about and sharing that with SAS employees and their families. It doesn't get more rewarding than that! In a world dominated by work, kids, chores, errands and always being "on the go," it's important to build in time to recharge yourself. Participating in recreation activities is one way to do just that - recharge and find balance in a busy life. The thing is, recreation doesn't always just happen. It must be a top item on our to-do list pursued with purpose, determination, and priority.
Why not? Studies have found that individuals who take part in outdoor recreation activities have fewer doctor visits, lower body mass indexes and lower systolic blood pressures than those who don't . Participating in recreation activities helps manage stress and reduce depression by fostering physical activity and play, providing a mental break, and building relationships. Adding these breaks for fun assists in finding a healthy life balance and fine tunes time management skills. By recreating regularly, research shows that people feel happier, fulfilled, and satisfied and therefore are generally healthier by mentally and physically.
Healthy + Happy + Fulfilled + Satisfied + Balanced Life = Improved Quality of Life
Bonus: Taking part in leisure activities as a family benefits everyone. Spending quality time together strengthens your relationship, opens communication between family members, creates laughter and joy within your family, and improving everyone's overall health. As a family, you are both modeling and practicing healthy stress coping mechanisms, a necessary life skill. And last, but not least, participating in recreational activities together as a family fosters learning, developing new skills, and improves all family members' self esteem.
Check out these stats from UCMERCED School of Natural Sciences:
There are 168 hours in a week. Ideally your time should be divided equally between work, recreation and sleep. This means:
- 56 hours work (things you have to do) per week
- 56 hours recreation (things you want to do) per week
- 56 hours sleep per week (8 hours per night)
And, if that's not enough for you to get moving on some recreation time, take the social implications into consideration:
Whether it's with a group of neighbors playing corn hole, a 9-ball community league, or camping with new friends, spending time interacting with others helps strengthen relationships of friends and family, develops social skills, combats loneliness, and fosters learning. In the technology-based world we live in today with computers, commuting, and machine based customer service, it's important for us to recognize these social benefits. Humans need human interaction to not only survive, but thrive, and I can't think of a more fun way to interact than to play!
We also need to take time to ourselves to relax by taking in a good movie, reading the latest best seller, knitting a sweater, taking a thoughtful walk, etc. Watching TV ranks up there as one of the highest leisure activities in which we "participate". Nice to know, right? It's okay to watch some TV; just be sure it's not getting in the way of a balanced life - time with friends, time with family, or reflective time alone.
Don't let a dictionary define what recreation means to you. Do whatever makes you happy, smile inside and feel good about your place in the world. How do you like to play?
 Dr. Laura L. Payne of the University of Illinois, 2005