Top Five Benefits of Outdoor Recreation


Getting outside to enjoy a beautiful day isn’t a personal indulgence. It’s a good idea. Dr. Andrew Lepp, assistant professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Kent State, provides a few of the many benefits of outdoor recreation.

Enjoying outdoor recreation, such as mountain biking, isn’t an indulgence; it provides benefits for your mind, body, spirit and the economy.

Enjoying outdoor recreation, such as mountain biking, isn’t an indulgence; it provides benefits for your mind, body, spirit and the economy.

1. Good for the mind. Outdoor recreation has psychological benefits, including the prevention or reduction of stress; improved self-esteem, confidence and creativity; spiritual growth; and an increased sense of exhilaration, adventure and challenge from life.

2. Good for the body. Getting outside provides physical benefits, such as aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular fitness, as well as improved functioning of the immune system.

3. Even better for your social life. The great outdoors afford social benefits like bonding with like-minded people who enjoy outdoor activities and feeling an increased pride in your community and nation.

4. Good for the economy. Outdoor recreation pays off with economic benefits too: People who regularly participate in outdoor recreation tend to be more productive at work. Outdoor recreation creates job opportunities for others, which leads to economic growth. And the preservation of the natural areas needed for outdoor recreation increases property values.

5. Great for the great outdoors. Outdoor recreation provides environmental benefits, including increased environmental awareness. Concern that results from outdoor recreation can lead to increased involvement in environmental issues.

Lepp, who teaches classes in outdoor recreation, park management and natural resource conservation for Kent State’s Recreation, Park and Tourism Management program, has worked for the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and as a park warden in Uganda. To learn more about the program, visit the College of Education, Health and Human Services Web site.

And if you’re looking for organized outdoor activities (or just a few ideas) this summer, visit Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s Outdoor Activities Web page.


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