Recreation is defined as (1):
“something people do to relax or have fun: activities done for enjoyment.”
But the value of the word extends beyond entertainment. It comes from the Latin word recreare, which means “to refresh or restore.” So the real value of recreational activity is restoring ourselves after work.
After strenuous physical labor, your muscles rebuild stronger while you sleep (2). When learning, your brain best stores new information with steady breaks and over periods of time. That is why students are advised to prepare for exams well in advance of their deadline (3). Your body and mind are designed to perform optimally with regular rest.
Research shows that chronic stress compounded by a 24/7 lifestyle, common to industrialized nations, is destructive to our spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical health (4, 5). Conversely, a commitment to regularly time off can help strengthen work performance, relationships, and health (6).
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