Leisure is recognized as a state of being which is characterized by an individual's perceived freedom, intrinsic motivation and feelings of pleasure; the leisure state is usually achieved through participation in recreational activities. The experience of leisure is inextricably related to the maintenance of health as well as to the development of individual potential. Leisure experiences have both mental health and physical health benefits. Some of these include the reduction of stress, the enhancement of self esteem, the development and maintenance of social relationships and, in the case of physical activities, the development and maintenance of physical fitness and motor ability. These health related benefits make leisure and recreation potentially powerful therapeutic modalities for use in treatment settings with ill and disabled persons and enable all persons to maintain or increase their wellness.
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