What is healthy leisure? When people hear the phrase healthy leisure, some think sports and fitness. Some others may think of leisure as spare or unproductive time that is only allowed when work is finished. But there is a lot more to healthy leisure than activities that benefit our physical bodies. A balanced lifestyle makes time for both responsibilities and leisure. The fact is, leisure activities are essential to our emotional and physical wellness. They can help us manage stress, prevent boredom, and maintain mental agility and physical dexterity.
They can teach us coping skills and increase self-confidence. They can give us pure enjoyment as well as spiritual and social connection. That’s why all of us need to plan to have leisure activities in our lives. Where can you find healthy leisure activities? No matter where you live in Nova Scotia, a variety of healthy leisure activities is available nearby. Check out the bulletin boards at your local library or grocery store, or get a copy of your local municipal recreation calendar. Other sources Art (ask at supply stores about painting, sewing, knitting, pottery groups, and more) • Continuing Education (check with your local school board, community college, or university) • Clubs (such as the Lions, Kinsmen/Kinettes, or Shriners) • Culture/Heritage groups (check with your local museum or art gallery) • Fitness (curling, dancing, swimming, skating, golf, hiking, and more may be available in your area) • Gardening (ask at your local gardening store about clubs) • Music (look in the Yellow Pages for a list of teachers) Theatre (check for local theatre groups) • Volunteering (check with your local Community Health Board) Choose your leisure activities with care. While leisure plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle, some leisure activities come with risks that need to be considered and understood. Gambling, for example, is a leisure activity for some people. When treated carefully, it can be fun on occasion. But gambling can quickly go from being an innocent past time to a problem.
While it can happen to anyone, people who play VLTs or casino slot machines once a month or more are at a higher risk of developing problems. So are people who regularly play daily lottery draws and scratch tickets, gamble online, or who already struggle with alcohol or drug use. Some people gamble because they are bored, sad, or lonely. Unemployment or retirement, or losing a spouse can leave them with too much unstructured time and not enough to do. These people are also at a higher risk of developing problems, especially if they are on a limited budget.