Leaders understand that stepping out of the office and taking a stroll, enjoying a lunch hour swim, a weekend spent hiking trails or touring a wine or rum estate is not simply killing time, but preserving health.
Imagine a busy mom who strives to balance a thriving career and a new baby. Back in the office with increasing responsibilities, she no longer enjoys the luxury of spending an hour after work in the gym or hanging out with friends for a bite to eat. Responsibilities call her home. However, a short stroll during lunch or “Mommy and Me” activities like swimming, dancing, or yoga are just a few ways in which this busy mom can manage her stress and give quality time to her young one(s). With good habits in place, the stage is set for continuous success.
So, fast forward to a busy mom whose teenagers can now be trusted to be home after school and be responsible until she gets there. She gets membership at the YMCA near her office and runs down 3 times a week for a lunch hour swim. Liberating and invigorating! A gentle reminder here: Don’t forget your swimsuit in the car because your mind is focused on the rest of the day (I know this very well because it happened to me while hanging out with a busy mom!).
Recreation is “(a way of) enjoying yourself when you are not working” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/recreation). And, it is also a multi-billion dollar industry involving immense access to public lands and water resources ((National Marine Manufacturers Association, 2018; http://www.nmma.org/press/article/21773).
Recreating outdoors is a great way to balance the pressures of work and family with physical and mental wellbeing. Why?
- people who frequently take advantage of park activities have fewer doctor visits, lower body mass indexes and lower systolic blood pressures than those who do not (Dr. Laura L. Payne, University of Illinois in Morgan, 2018; https://healthfully.com/importance-of-leisure-recreation-for-health-7692320.html).
- regular exercise reduces both anxiety and depression after nine to 10 weeks of regular aerobic activity (Dr. Daniel M. Landers, Arizona State University in Kulas, 2018; https://healthfully.com/social-emotional-benefits-of-regular-exercise-7804919.html).
- 90% of respondents who did regular, outdoor recreation reported satisfaction with their overall lives versus 60% life satisfaction for respondents who do not regularly recreate outdoors (American Recreation Coalition Study in Croff, 2017; https://www.metroparks.com/importance-leisure-recreation-health/).
As you enjoy the outdoors, think of other ways that you can expand your horizons with a copy of Be Prepared and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .