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Recreation, Distractions & Diversions

  1. Recreation: an activity that a person takes part in for pleasure or relaxation rather than as work.
  2. Distractions: something, especially an amusement, that distracts.
  3. Diversions: activities or interests that takes somebody's mind off more routine or serious things.

If your job involves a lot of thinking and problem solving, do the opposite, try working with your hands, e.g., painting, gardening, clearing out a wardrobe or creating something. If you work with your hands, try learning something new, writing or investigating a subject. Make time to do something you're passionate about. You will be surprised how it will change your outlook on life.

Men bond with sports; women bond with shopping. It's recreation. We like to follow the Mets; women like to follow heel heights from season to season. But the only reason to bully a guy into coming along should be to test the relationship's strength. If men are willing to brave the shops, they've got to be into woman. Which has led to other forms of recreation.

The weekend and Holidays are a common time for recreation. Traditionally music and dance serve as recreation in many cultures, as do sports, hobbies, games and tourism. Watching TV and listening to music are common forms of recreation, or rather leisure. In recent years, more 'exciting' forms of recreation include: skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, sky diving, hang gliding, paint balling, rock climbing, backpacking, canyoning, caving, BASE jumping, adventure tourism. Many activities may be functional and/or recreational.

Some individuals view recreation as largely non-productive, even trivial. Excessive recreation is not considered healthy, and may be labelled as escapism. Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an "escape" from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily reality.

Escapism has occurred constantly throughout time. Some believe that this diversion is more inherent in today's urban, technological existence because it de-facto removes people from their biologically normal natures. Entire industries have sprung up to foster a growing tendency of people to remove themselves from the rigors of daily life. Principal amongst these are fiction literature, sports, films, television, roleplaying games, pornography, recreational drugs, the internet and computer games. Many activities that are normal parts of a healthy existence (e.g., eating, exercise, sexual activity) can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extreme.

However, research has shown that recreation contributes to life satisfaction, quality of life, health and wellness, and that the use of recreation as a diversion may have clinical applications to individuals with chronic pain and other health impairments. Recreation is essential to the longevity of human beings. It is roughly the opposite of stress. Today, stress is the number one killer in the United States. Stress can lead to a number of ailments, such as hypertension.

Diversions are wonderful things that distract the mind and relax the body. Although initially to be diverted from a course might sound like a bad thing, in a day when the work week seems never-ending and vacations are always out of reach, diversions are a Godsend. They can be a way to connect with friends and family, discover a heritage (or pass on a passion to future generations), express a creative side, get exercise, relieve stress, and most of all, alleviate boredom. After all, diversions equal fun.

Collecting is a popular diversion, and since it depends on the interests of the individual collector, it can deal with literally any subject. People have been known to collect things from nature, architectural items, art, antiques, books, currency and stamps, household items, paper collectibles, products, technology, textiles, themed items, and toys. While some collections have the potential to be infinite, other collections can be completed, like acquiring every episode from Seinfeld. Collections don't have to be tangible either: some collectors engage in mileage collecting, train spotting, or systematically visiting all the states in the United States.

One might wonder why a person would spend so much time hunting for obscure or unusual items in a collection. For some, the objects pose a link between the past and the present. Others feel that their collections become a part of them. Philosopher Walter Benjamin put it this way: "Ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects. Not that they come alive in him; it is he who lives in them."

Crafts can also deal with almost any medium. Crafts include glassware, jewelry, ceramics, weavings, mixed media, and homemade clothes. There are crafts for children, and craft courses in colleges. At a time when machines can supply all practically all the physical needs of a population, crafts become even more important, as a way of sustaining traditions, an outlet for self-expression, and a means of countering the uniformity of mass production.

Inspiration, having fun, and being in touch with the magic of creating are all part of the joy of crafting. The world is becoming increasingly homogenized and dominated by chain stores. Crafting is a life-affirming way to create something that is truly one-of-a-kind.

In today's frantic, highly-mobile society, the need to feel connected to something bigger than one's self has spawned the genealogy trend. Many people become interested in this diversion because they wonder about the real meaning of their last name, if they are related to someone famous, or where their ancestors came from. Genealogy enthusiasts can create elaborate family trees or design a homepage where they can share their findings with other family members and friends.

Many will find that a way to connect with the past is by learning about family traditions. Every family has its own unique customs and folklore. Similarly, many hobbies are passed down from generation to generation, such as quilting. There might also be a family recipe whose ingredients are kept under wraps except for family members. A person's history is their family tree, documenting the roots and branches of their lineages. Learning about it is very worthwhile.

There are two kinds of campers

The do-ers and the whiners. Some guys like to sleep on the ground, some like to have an air mattress, a sleeping bag, and a tent floor in between themselves and said ground. To each his own, I guess. Either way, every fall, thousands of men, along with their counterparts, pack up their car and venture into the woods to go camping.
  • Gimme Shelter: Although pricey, find a tent that fits three people. Add in some ghost stories, a few beers, two old girlfriends from college--you do the math.
  • Good Night's Sleep: Whoever said sleeping alone was a bad thing? Stay warm and free of clingy cuddlers in a sleeping bag. It's waterproof so neither rain nor sleet can keep you from getting your Z's. And don't forget the sleeping bag for your best friend, Rover (or Spot, or whatever predictable dog name you've got).
  • Sit Back: As much as we all like roughing it, let's face it, camping is a vacation after all. You need somewhere to sit and chill. And more importantly, a place to put your drink.
  • Stay Cool: And where from are you fetching these drinks? You're wheeled cooler, of course.
  • Eat Up: Sometimes, the best part of camping is eating some hot food. While real men just eat with their hands, let's try and keep it civilized.
  • Top Chef: You need something with which to cook that food you're stuffing in your mouth. For more hardcore campers, it might seem impractical to bring an entire grill with you, but we're directing this to the more leisurely folk. While a fire is good for marshmallows and staying warm--for real eaters you need a grill.
  • Drink Up: I'm sure the majority of what you're doing after dark is emptying beer cans, but by day it is wise to stay hydrated. Take the ultimate combination hydration system/daypack on those hikes and fishing excursions and you'll never go thirsty again.
  • Keep it Clean: For the love of God, you may be in the wilderness, but no one wants to share a tent with a smelly-ass yeti.
  • Don't Get Killed: Lions, Tigers and Bears. Well, Bears mostly. There are lots of things that can happen if you're not careful and you don't want to get caught in a Michael Scott situation by tying your pant leg to your head cause you don't know any better.

If you can survive in the wilderness without a hot shower and a toilet, and aren't horrified by the idea of sleeping where bears or large reptiles roam free, then you're probably a practiced camper. But travelers who aren't as comfortable with outdoor accommodations, take heart: camping doesn't have to resemble your week of mosquito hell at fifth grade summer camp. Many campgrounds have running water and public restrooms, or even cabins, lodges or yurts. In fact, you may be surprised by how little you miss your everyday conveniences while camping. After all, it's easy to forget about luxuries like 500-thread-count sheets and refrigerators when you're gazing at stars over the Grand Canyon, exploring a sea cave in Hawaii or spotting crocodiles in the Everglades.

Go camping and enjoy a variety of activities right outside your tent flap -- like boating, fishing, biking, hiking, rock climbing and spotting wildlife. Find inner peace on a forest hike, tone your arms and abs while kayaking, or learn about the importance of protecting the environment as you observe endangered animals in their natural habitats.

There are many natural wonders in the great outdoors: jagged mountains, sparkling lakes, green forests, and sandy beaches. They can be enjoyed in many ways, including hiking, swimming, skiing, and biking. In an age of high technology and elevated job stress, the outdoors is a wonderful place to relax, unwind, and reflect; a place to become rejuvenated and refreshed.

If there's one thing that experts agree on, it's that being outdoors is good for you. Being out in the fresh air and natural light away from poor ventilation and harsh fluorescent bulbs breathes new life into any routine and is a wonderful family activity. Spectacular scenery enhances the experience, and getting exercise out-of-doors engages the brain as well as the body.

Millions of Americans recreate in the open air annually, and an estimated nine out of ten people participate in some outdoor activity every year. The recreation equipment industry is offering more products for consumers to use in the outdoors due to this growing trend. Some of the most popular outdoor pastimes are 4-wheeling, ATV riding, mountain-biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling. Less strenuous family-friendly activities include camping, photography, and bird watching. In a world of digital entertainment and modern conveniences, the increased numbers of people venturing beyond the usual borders for an outdoors adventure are a welcome change. Spending time in the outdoors helps a person appreciate the value of conserving natural resources and learn to respect the environment. It is very important to minimize the impact on the outdoors and still have fun.

Lifestyles change over time. For example, what people used to do even 50 years back is not what is done today and the future is also sure to see a lot of change. And even in the same time period, lifestyles change from one culture to another and from one religion to another. But there are certain things that remain the same. Whatever a person's idea of fun is, the answer to the age-old question "What do you want to do tonight?" can be found. There's a Meetin' Here Tonight



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