Recreational activities are far more than just a fun way to spend your time. They’re also an important tool for good health, personal growth, and creativity. Devoting periods of your day to recreational activities can help to boost your imagination, and refresh your mind.
For designers and creative professionals in the modern world, recreational activities can be particularly important. Many graphic designers, artists, and branding specialists are now working remotely, rather than pursuing a typical 9-to-5 job.
While working from home can be an excellent way to boost productivity and focus, it also makes it hard to find a good work-life balance.
Splitting up your day with recreational activities can remind you to take time for yourself in between projects, and ensure your thought processes don’t become stale.
Today, we’re going to cover some of our favorite recreational activities, ideal for boosting creativity.
What is a recreational activity?
Let’s start with defining what a “recreational activity” actually is. The term “recreation” refers to any activity you might do for the purpose of relaxation, exercise, or even just pleasure.
Most often, recreational activities involve a level of exercise and movement. If you can get outside and work your muscles from time to time, you can benefit from a change in scenery, and even improved health.
After all, according to experts, getting enough physical activity into your day could help to prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths. It also helps to reduce stress levels (common among creatives), improve sleep, and enhance mood.
However, recreational activities don’t have to be high-octane events. Relaxing behaviors are also recreational. For instance, listening to your favorite album in between periods of work, or watching a show on YouTube is a form of recreation.
In this article, we’re going to look at a host of different types of recreational activity, from those designed to get your heart pumping faster, to those intended to soothe your mind and spirit.
Examples of recreational activities to try
Recreational activities come in a host of different styles and forms, to suit different preferences. Some, you can perform from the comfort of your own home, like yoga, or listening to music. Others push you to get out and explore the natural world, like camping and hiking.
While investing in recreation when you feel as though you have a pile of important tasks waiting for you can seem like a bad idea, it’s actually a crucial part of good health and wellbeing.
Recreational activities encourage social interaction, boost concentration and learning, and even strengthen your self-esteem.
Here are some great examples to get you started…
The best active recreational activities
Active recreational activities are those which involve a certain degree of physical work. These actions are designed to get your blood pumping.
According to studies, regular exercise actually improves your creative performance. Study participants with a more active lifestyle were found to be significantly more creative, and better at problem solving.
You don’t need your own pool to benefit from a quick swim. With pools, lakes, and even the sea to dive into in locations all around the world, there’s nothing to stop you from taking a dip.
Swimming is an excellent all-around activity, because it tones almost every muscle, builds strength, and helps to promote better cardiovascular fitness.
Swimming elevates your heart rate, building endurance, and reducing feelings of stress. It’s also excellent for people at varying levels of physical fitness because there’s less pressure on your joints when you’re swimming compared to running or walking.
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One of the most vigorous activities you can do in your spare time, volleyball requires a range of different types of motion, including diving, squatting, and jumping.
Volleyball is an excellent opportunity to socialize and connect with other people if you’re feeling a little isolated after working at home for long periods of time.
The great thing about Volleyball, is it’s great for boosting hand-eye coordination, which can be quite important for graphic designers. It also requires a level of mental focus which can train your brain and improve your concentration.
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3. Skiing and snowboarding
These are some of our favorite recreational activities, though they might be a little harder to do than swimming or running. However, if you do have a set of slopes nearby, it’s worth investing in the occasional trip.
Skiing and snowboarding help to raise your heart rate and tone your muscles, while giving you a fantastic adrenaline rush, which you can use to boost creativity.
Skiing and snowboarding require you to use your problem-solving skills, to ensure you can navigate complicated courses. Building adrenaline is also a good way to convert negative stress into positive, motivational stress, according to studies.
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Another recreation activity which might be harder to access depending on where you are, surfing is likely to be an option only for those closest to the beach. However, if you do have a surfing school, or a set of waves nearby, it’s worth exploring.
Surfing strengthens nearly every muscle in your body, works your heart and lungs, and challenges your balance. It’s also a great chance to exercise your mind because surfing requires a high level of focus and determination.
You can start with something simple like boogie boarding if you think surfing might be a little too much for you to begin with.
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5. Horseback riding
Horseback riding is another fantastic recreational activity worth exploring if you have the opportunity. This exercise can be as vigorous or as laid back as you want it to be. Ideally, however, you will need to consider getting some lessons before you jump into the saddle.
If you’re new to riding, start with a guided trail ride so you can get used to the basics. As you begin to develop your experience, you can push your exercise a little further. One of the best things about horseback riding is it gives you a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.
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Recreational activities at home
If you don’t have a lot of time between creative working periods to get outside and explore, you might prefer to do more of your favorite recreational activities at home. While it’s always a good idea to get some fresh air when you can, activities done at home can be beneficial too.
A fantastic way to stretch out your muscles and avoid some of the issues of sedentary life, yoga can reduce your stress levels, and tone your body. There are endless different types of poses you can explore depending on your goals.
For instance, you could use yoga to boost your flexibility and relieve feelings of soreness around the joints.
If you’re new to yoga, consider checking out some of the best yoga videos available on YouTube to get you started. Begin with simple exercises, and work your way up to poses which require more focus and flexibility.
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Here’s a great way to get outside and soak up some vitamin D without having to travel very far. Gardening is a fantastic tool for reducing stress levels. Being around plants and greenery is also an excellent way to boost your mood and creativity.
You don’t need a huge yard to get started either. A small vegetable patch in your garden is an excellent way to test out your skills and grow some of your own produce. You can also tend to herbs and other small plants in a window box at home.
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8. Try a puzzle
If you want to focus your mind and improve your concentration levels, puzzling could be the perfect solution. Studies have shown the act of simply putting jigsaw puzzle pieces together improves problem-solving skills and short-term memory.
It’s also a great way to refresh your mind when you’re struggling with a difficult project.
You can enjoy a standard jigsaw puzzle, or consider downloading apps for your phone or computer which put your brain to the test in other ways.
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Meditation is something most people could benefit from doing more often. It’s a great way to hone your mind, release stress, and relax if you’re struggling at work.
A little meditation, even only 10 minutes a day, can help you to boost your imagination and creativity levels, and enhance self-awareness. It’s also a good way to increase patience and tolerance.
There are plenty of videos and guides online to walk you through the basics of exploring meditation for the first time if you’ve never tried it.
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10. Music and movies
As mentioned above, your favorite recreational activities don’t always have to be about exercise. They can also be a tool for relaxation and mood boosting. Listening to an album, or even just a couple of your favorite songs, can increase your creativity levels, and reduce stress.
While you might not always have time for a full movie, a few clips from your favorite show can also be a great way to enjoy some “me time”. You can even invite friends over to enjoy the experience with you if you need some socialization.
Excellent recreational events
Recreational “events” are generally group experiences designed to connect you with other people. The kind of events you can take part in will depend on what’s going on in your local area at any given time.
You may also need to devote a little extra time to these experiences than other recreational activities, so plan them for the end of your day.
Bowling is a low-octane activity excellent for improving your social skills and getting you around other people. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to take part in a bowling session either.
This activity will help to burn excess calories, while strengthening and toning your upper-body muscles. You can even improve endurance with bowling.
A bowling session from time to time can improve your heart and respiratory fitness, while giving you a chance to connect with friends and other people.
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12. Festivals and concerts
While you might not be able to attend a festival every day, you can plan to have a few weaved into your schedule throughout the year. These events are great for nurturing your creative side through music and unique experiences.
Plus, they’re ideal for spending time with friends.
You can even combine your festival experience with other recreational activities like camping in some cases, to help get you away from your home and into nature for a little longer.
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Dancing is a phenomenal exercise and a lot of fun. It improves the condition of your heart and lungs, while boosting muscular strength and endurance. It also requires a level of concentration, coordination, and agility, which can be useful for any creative professional.
In fact, one study by Stanford even found dancing makes you smarter.
The great thing about dancing is there are so many different styles of dance to explore. You can check out local dance classes in your area to get started, and even explore competitions.
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Outdoor recreational activities
Whenever you can, it’s always worth taking your recreational activities outdoors. Being outdoors is actually fantastic for our health, on both an emotional, and physical level. Going outside can improve your mental energy, and emotional wellness, as well as leading to better sleep and respiration.
Here are some of the best ways to take your recreation outdoors…
If you live close to a lake, or the ocean, it’s definitely worth looking into some boating activities. You can start with something simple like a kayak or a canoe, or you could learn how to manage a sailboat, which requires a significant level of concentration and hand-eye coordination.
Many boating lovers find the activity to be peaceful and relaxing, but it’s also a good way to work your muscles and your brain. You’ll be able to soak up some fresh air, and see some new places as part of your travels, which can enhance your creativity.
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Speaking of activities, you can do by the water; fishing is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for something relaxing. Fishing improves your vitamin D intake by getting you outdoors for extended periods of time, and allows you to unplug from the digital world for a little while.
Fishing also helps to improve your concentration and patience, which can be particularly useful for any creative professional used to dealing with difficult clients.
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Virtually anyone can ride a bike. Even if you’ve never done so before, it doesn’t take very long to learn, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re set for life. Cycling is one of the oldest sporting activities in the world, and it’s a fantastic way to enjoy your time outside.
You can stretch out your muscles with a bike ride, soak up some sunlight, and explore different environments to refresh your mind. Plus, you’ll be able to ride as fast or as slow as you like, depending on how much you want to work your muscles.
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One of the most popular recreational activities for people who love the great outdoors, hiking is a highly versatile sport. You can start as slow as you like, exploring trails designed specifically for beginners, then work your way up towards more challenging treks.
With a hike, you can work on improving your respiratory and heart health, while building the muscles in your legs and core. Plus, there’s a level of concentration and problem solving required in some hiking adventures too, so you can work on your brain at the same time.
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18. Rock climbing
Another great exercise for improving your problem-solving abilities, rock climbing has a host of fantastic benefits associated with it. This exercise burns calories, improves your balance, and helps with your confidence too.
Depending on where you go to climb, you’ll also be able to work most of your muscles at the same time.
These days, you can enjoy rock climbing either indoors or outdoors, thanks to a wide number of gyms with their own climbing walls. It’s worth starting off with some guidance from a professional if you’re new to this sport.
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Spending some quality time “unplugged” and outdoors can be an extremely valuable way to refresh your mind and enhance your creativity. You don’t have to go far to see the benefits. Simply setting up a camp site a little way from your home can be enough to give you a new perspective.
You can even combine camping with hiking and other exercises.
Time away from your home office should relieve some tension and stress, by giving you a chance to unwind. You can also choose to go camping on your own, or invite some friends and family along for the experience, it’s totally up to you.
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Walking is one of the best recreational activities because anyone can do it. You’re free to walk as fast or slow as you like, in any environment you choose. You can even take a walk around the block if you don’t have a lot of time between work and meanings.
Walking will give you a chance to soak up some fresh air and vitamin D.
Plus, scientists have connected walking to a wide range of benefits, from improved cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance to better energy levels. You can even prevent and manage a range of conditions with walking, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
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Another excellent choice you for examples of recreational activities you can enjoy at any age, is roller-skating. Although it might seem like this activity is intended mostly for younger adults, there’s nothing stopping you from getting started at a later age too.
Roller skating offers a great workout to a range of muscles, while helping you to soak up some fresh air.
If you like the idea of running as a recreational activity, but you don’t have the best knees or joints, roller-skating can be an excellent low-impact alternative. You can start as slow as you like, and even get lessons if you need some extra help.
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Easily among the most popular low-impact outdoor activities and recreational pastimes, golf is fantastic for anyone. It requires you to focus your attention, and practice different kinds of movements to get the right results.
Golfing can also be a fantastic way to burn some calories when you’re pushing around a heavy cart.
As an added bonus, when you’re golfing, you’ll have access to lots of sunlight and fresh air, which can improve your mood, and your physical health. Try inviting some friends along to a game for a fun social experience.
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Boost your creativity with recreation activities
The best recreational activities offer a fantastic way for creative professionals to take a much-needed break during periods of work.
Whether you choose active recreational activities to work out all of your muscles, or you opt for something low-impact you can do from home, your brain and body are sure to see the benefits.
It’s too easy for people in the creative world to spend all of their time focused on their work at home, without dedicating any time to fun and relaxation. But a little recreational activity from time to time can do wonders for your personal and professional life.
Start slowly with something simple you can do during your work breaks, and look for hobbies you can enjoy whenever you have some time off.
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