The paper "Benefits of Leisure" is a delightful example of a literature review on social science. Leisure is a function of the individual, the society, and the environment (Ho, 2008, p. 14). It is experienced during an individual’ s free time and therefore has a wide variety of benefits per person. It is a personal quest for excitement fulfillment. Leisure activities comprise a number of interrelated degrees of excitement, relaxation, personal development, and growth, nature-tension balancing, and economic activities. According to Jenkins & Pigram (2003, p. 31) leisure enables change from a less desirable state to a more desirable one such as physical fitness, maintenance of a desired condition or prevention of an unwanted one such as lifestyle diseases, and the realisation of a desired experiential condition such as a picnic with the family.
Leisure can be either planned such as participation in a sports team or unplanned such as watching movies and going out for picnics. Physical activity, however, need not be strenuous to achieve the benefits. According to the US government, an adult requires approximately 150 minutes of physical activity that may range from moderate-intensity activities such as brisk walking to muscle-strengthening activities such as weight lifting (Kinetics, 2010, p.
13). Bright 2000 social welfare philosophy in Lei (2008, p. 35) asserts that the benefits derived from leisure can be categorized into five key categories: psychological, physiological, sociological, economic, and environmental. This paper will explore the five benefits of leisure as physiological benefits, psychological benefits, social and cultural benefits, economic benefits and environmental benefits. It will also describe reasons as to whether the benefits are feasible to achieve in modern society. An individual can engage in physical activities during their leisure time, be it brisk walking, jogging, or more strenuous activities such as boxing, weight lifting and so on.
Studies show that physical exercise reduces the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases such as body fat composition, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, hypertension, and insulin resistance. Physical exercise does so by reducing triglycerides and serum cholesterol and increasing high-density lipids in the blood vessels (Li, Culver, & Ren, 2003, p. 127). The intensity of the physical exercise is directly proportional to the amount of carbohydrate used up by the body.
The higher the intensity the greater the rate of carbohydrate use in energy production. The carbohydrate stores in the body predispose people to obesity and their use up during exercise greatly reduces this risk. Exercise is also attributable to the prevention of certain types of cancers such as colon, prostate and breast cancer. In addition to the prevention of diseases, it is also useful in the treatment of the same diseases.