Outdoor Recreational Activities

Outdoor recreation activity refers to the pursuit of ‘leisure activities engaged in the outdoors’, in semi-natural or natural surroundings. There are many old and new activities that are included in this list – adventure trekking and racing, backpacking, bungee jumping, camping, canoeing or kayaking, caving, canyoning, cross-country running or jogging, cycling, fishing, hiking, horse riding, hunting, mountaineering, photography, rock climbing, sailing, skiing, skydiving, surfing, trekking etc; the list is endless as more and more adventure activities get included.

The two main objectives for indulging in outdoor activity are for satiating one’s desire to indulge in pleasurable activities as well as promote physical and mental health. As a result, even team sports comprising larger numbers of individuals as in camping, hunting, mountaineering, sailing etc. The beneficial effects of such activities are well documented that nowadays corporate companies often arrange these activities for their employees to instill goal-directed abilities in individuals and groups that provide rewards, both physical and social, and help in career progression. Qualities like leadership, team-building, decision making, situational judging, risk-taking, and quick and logical reasoning are all attributes that lie dormant in most people but are brought to the front only when circumstances require them. Most goal-directed outdoor activities are physical in nature but the emotional and mental gains cannot be ignored. The outdoors as a means of social networking and meeting physically challenging tasks that need endurance and stamina enhances and boosts an individual’s self-confidence, self-sufficiency and self-worth. In short, people who otherwise do not get much of a chance to propel themselves forward “show what they can do given the circumstances”.

Benefits of the outdoors

Most people in urban cities around the world believe that such outdoor activities are greatly rewarding physically and mentally; nevertheless, besides providing ‘utilitarian value’ what is sometimes not taken into account is that such activities lead to aesthetic contemplation and promote awareness of self and surroundings, with particular reference to nature, environment and ecology and the preservation of natural surroundings around us. Just being in the outdoors itself is a hugely calming and relaxing way of ‘seeing things that we do not always see, hearing things we do not always hear and feeling things we do not always feel’. Hence, it is only now being realized that outdoor activities are used as mediums of teaching, educating and promoting team building among children and youngsters.

As the spaces around us get smaller and smaller, more and more sports are joining the list expanding the scope of outdoor activities – parasailing, sport fishing, mushroom hunting, wildlife safaris, ice climbing, snowboarding and many more fascinating activities are making the grade.

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Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

Some people love to be outdoors and to be active while others simply do not. I have friends who would like nothing whatsoever with doing outdoor recreation like kayaking, jogging, walking, hiking and so on. It is very difficult for me to understand as being active outside is one of my most favorite things about this world we live in. For those who love the outdoors as much as I do this article will make a lot of sense. For those who only venture outside on the most beautiful of days, perhaps these words will inspire you to try a new sport or to enjoy a few breathes of fresh air.

What are the Benefits of Outdoor Recreation?

For one thing going outdoors and breathing some (hopefully) fresh air can be invigorating and do wonders to pump up our life force. I know for myself when I go for a run or take a kayaking trip I feel alive and free as well as happy and alert. I can be having the worst of days and feel completely loaded down by stress. If I go out and do some type of recreation outside I just about always come back with a clear head and a much happier outlook on life. For me, outdoor recreation is like therapy… the cheapest and best kind one could find.

Another great benefit of outdoor recreation is the bonding time. Whether you are with family or friends or even your favorite pet, doing outdoor sports and activities can help you to bond with your loved ones in a way that is difficult otherwise. It forces you to talk and interact while sharing the experience of some type of outdoor activity. Nothing could ever replace the long talks that I have had with my mom while out walking, the laughs my boyfriend and I have had while kayaking or the interesting stories my friends and I have shared while hiking. These are experiences and moments that could never be replaced and were all possible because we were sharing the outdoors together.

Did you Know that Outdoor Recreation can Save you Money?

We live in a world where there are many ups and downs and it is not always easy to feel light as well as secure. Outdoor recreation can be some of the cheapest activities possible. Going outside costs nothing. Hiking up a mountain costs nothing. Playing a game outside with your kids costs nothing. These are all outdoor activities that are easy on the pocket book and are usually a lot more fun than many other expensive outings.

Whether you like to walk or run, hike or climb, kayak or canoe… I would suggest that you get outside as much as possible and breathe in the air while we can. Outdoor recreation is one of the things that makes life so enjoyable and fun. For me, nothing could ever replace it and I couldn’t imagine a world without it. We are very lucky to have the beauty and the clean air that we do… I for one plan on taking full advantage of it.

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Camping & RV Campgrounds for Outdoor Recreation

Camping is a fantastic outdoor experience for the entire family. Campgrounds exist throughout the world and there are plenty of sites for setting up tents, pop ups and great resort style campgrounds with RV parking in many campgrounds.

Camping is one of the ultimate outdoor recreation experiences and many campgrounds have all the facilities needed to provide campers with certain “creature comforts” we like to have available. Hot showers, clean and spacious restrooms, public areas to name a few. Whether you’re pitching a tent for a weekend camping experience or parking your RV, there are many campgrounds throughout the USA that are ready to accommodate the camping enthusiast.

Camping trips for family vacations are very affordable, even on a modest budget a family can have a fantastic camping vacation and experience the wonders of the outdoors. Pitch your tent, pop up trailer or park your RV at one of America’s campgrounds and you’re sure to have some great times with family and friends.

Hiking, fishing, boating, canoes, kayaks, swimming, these outdoor recreation activities abound at most campgrounds. Adults and children all can benefit from a family camping trip and will enjoy the adventure that awaits with a camping outing.

Camping trips provide many good times and fond memories for young and old. Even a novice can cast a line in the water for a little fishing. If fishing is not your thing, enjoy a nice walk in the woods and explore the great outdoors. Maybe hiking, boating, swimming or other water activities are more appealing. Whatever the case, there’s sure to be something to please everyone.

Pitching a tent is a little work but most campers don’t have much trouble getting the tent up once they arrive at the campsite. RV parking has some set up too, getting hooked up and settled in at the campground is an experience in itself. Sure RV’ers have some advantage with RV camping, it’s a different level for sure.

Being outdoors is a good experience for everyone and what better way to experience it than a good old fashioned camping trip. Camping is highly recommended, great family fun by day and who doesn’t like a good bonfire in the evening. Roast some marshmallows, make s’mores, sing a few folk songs, tell a few jokes, have some laughs and enjoy the company of friends and family. Camping is great, get out of the house, away from the TV and spend some quality time at a nice campground. Summer is coming and there’s no better time for a camping trip. Why not plan one soon…..easy on the budget and so much FUN!

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Outdoor Recreation Strengthens Families

As a boy, I don’t think there was anything that I enjoyed more than family excursions to the mountains, lakes, sand dunes and deserts. Living near Salt Lake City, Utah provided convenient access to a wide variety of beautiful outdoor environments, and my parents loved to get out of town and change the scenery. As a result, we packed up and hit the road often, in one direction or another. We did have a few favorite destinations (including Palisades Lake, Jackson Hole and the Little Sahara dunes), but no two trips were alike, and we often found ourselves in new and interesting places. Our travel accommodations and recreational pursuits also varied. Some trips involved sleeping in tents and hiking in the woods. On other occasions we had the comforts of a trailer or boat, and spent hours each day exploring our surroundings on ATVs, bicycles or wave runners. Each of these excursions was an adventure that we experienced together as a family, and each created fond memories that I continue to reflect on today, as an adult with children of my own.

Based on my own experience, both as a child and as a parent, I firmly believe that participation in the outdoors provides unique opportunities for strengthening family relationships. I think there are a few reasons for this. The first, and probably most important reason is that being outdoors together provides quality time. Time that is free from the interruptions of phone calls and email. Time that is free from work responsibilities, household chores, and television shows. When a family is together in the great outdoors, they generally have a substantial period of time in which to simply enjoy being with and talking to each other, without all the distractions. In this setting parents and children are more likely to open up and share genuine thoughts and feelings, thereby overcoming communication barriers. Certainly spending such time together is important to establishing and maintaining strong, healthy relationships.

Second, outdoor participation places the family in an environment where each member is experiencing and learning new things, and all are doing so together. At home, our surroundings are commonplace and familiar, and parents are often focused on being productive. Outdoor environments offer a setting that is unfamiliar and often very stimulating. Parents and their children have an opportunity to experience and learn about their surroundings together. This increases family unity by placing family members on a more equal level. Similarly, while experiencing the outdoors family members’ perspectives are more alike. The way in which each sees the world and how they exist within it is more similar than usual, and each is likely to enjoy a greater sense of appreciation for the positive elements of their lives. At home, there is generally a disparity of perspectives between parents and children and both may find it easy to forget those positive elements. By physically removing themselves from their comfort zones families are able to create opportunities to grow closer together and learn to rely on each other more.

The third reason outdoor recreation strengthens families is based on the premise that most people are happier than usual while participating in outdoor recreation, and when individuals are happy, their relationships and associations with others will inevitably be stronger and healthier. I base this underlying premise on more than thirty years of observing people engaged in outdoor activities. They generally have something in common. Think of the people you came across during your most recent adventure in the outdoors. Were they smiling? Were they laughing? Chances are that they were. This method of analysis is not particularly scientific, but the significance of consistent behavior demonstrated by thousands of people in many locations over a period of three decades is undeniable. A detailed discussion of the specific reasons people are happier recreating outdoors is beyond the scope of this article, but the list surely includes such considerations as being surrounded by natural beauty, engaging in physical activity and being free from typical responsibilities (even if only temporarily).

Today families need strengthening more than ever. Increasing numbers of people are experiencing childhood and adulthood without the benefits of strong family relationships. Outdoor recreation provides opportunities for families to grow closer. Youth, in particular, need to be encouraged to enjoy the outdoors. In its 2008 Participation Report the Outdoor Foundation stated that “from 2006 to 2007, there was an 11.6% drop in participation in outdoor activities among American children ages 6 to 17.” As one who was blessed to grow up enjoying the adventure and awe of the outdoors, this trend is saddening. I firmly believe that there are great benefits to be enjoyed by any family that will take the initiative to spend time together in the outdoors. My wife and I have three young children, and while I admit that it usually requires some time and effort for us to plan a successful outdoor excursion, I can say without hesitation that we’re always glad we did. We’ve already had many wonderful experiences hiking and camping together throughout Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, and I’m looking forward to many more in the years ahead.

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How Outdoor Recreation Affects You

After engaging in outdoor activities, you may notice that you felt better. Health experts emphasized that time spent for outdoor recreation can actually lead to a wide range of benefits. These will include strengthened family ties and reduced obesity rates. Regardless of whether you just want a stroll along a nature trail or perhaps a strenuous hike up a steep mountain path, bear in mind that outdoor recreation will provide the setting for mental and physical growth.

Benefits Of Engaging In Outdoor Activities

Physical – You will enjoy plenty of physical health benefits if you regularly engage in outdoor activities. These will include a reduced arthritis pain, low blood pressure, weight loss, and lowered risks for various illnesses like osteoporosis, certain cancers, and diabetes. If you get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like hiking or 150 minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking and biking every week, risk of chronic disease will be reduced and a healthy weight can be maintained.

Intellectual – Engaging in recreational activities can increase confidence levels, improve creativity and self-esteem. Nature can actually help calm and rejuvenate the mind. Also, it can increase positive effect and enhance outlook. On the contrary, those that are artificially made can cause feelings of irritability, impulsivity, exhaustion, and inattentiveness. Spending time outdoors can also help you focus. Consider having a walk through natural settings now.

Social – Outdoor recreation can likewise offer a chance for you to socialize, which is a very crucial benefit. Birdwatching, for instance, is an activity that incorporates a lot of things to do. These include interpreting auditory and visual input, chatting with the other birdwatchers, and walking. It is also through going outdoors that you can meet new friends or people with similar interests as yours.

Emotional – It is true that the outdoor settings and physical activities can help reduce depression, stress and anxiety. If you spend some of your time exercising in the park, you can definitely have an increase in positive moods, along with a reduction in your cortisol levels. Be aware that cortisol is a hormone released by the body if it feels stressed out. Moreover, you get to have an increased access to green spaces for various activities like walking and other activities that can decrease your stress levels.

Engaging in different outdoor activities like sports will not only be fun. It can also help you improve your overall health and well-being. So if you have time, go outside and take a walk or perhaps be a part of a sports team.

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