Participating in recreational activities offers many physical, mental and social benefits. Teenagers who participate in recreational activities may experience reduced obesity, reduced depression and stress as well as increased stewardship and volunteerism. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, participating in positive, goal-directed activities helps teens develop important life skills and can decrease their chances of engaging in risky behaviors, such as cigarette smoking and drug use.
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Special Interest Clubs
When a teenager has a special interest, finding a local club that celebrates that interest can be a fun and effective way to encourage him to develop his interest and make ties to the community. If a teenager is interested in chess, for instance, he may join a local chess club that organizes tournaments or special events. Other clubs may exist for teens with interests in volunteering, magic, hiking, computing or gaming. Schools, libraries or civic organizations often sponsor clubs for teenagers. Increasingly, it is possible for teenagers to find virtual clubs where they can connect online with others who share their interests.
Team sports are one of the most popular forms of recreational activities for teens. In addition to school-based sports teams, teens may join private teams or community teams. Depending on the sport, some teams may require members to try out or audition. Other team sports, however, may be open to all participants. Participating in team sports gives teenagers the opportunity to exercise their bodies while they learn valuable lessons about teamwork, perseverance and commitment.
Teenagers do not necessarily have to join a formal group to participate in recreational activities. Many community centers have swimming pools, tennis courts, running trails, skate parks or sporting fields where teens can enjoy a variety of activities. Recreational facilities may also include bowling alleys, indoor rock climbing facilities and skating rinks. It is possible for teenagers to take advantage of these resources individually or with a group. Additionally, many of these resources may be free or have minimal fees.
Many teens enjoy various performing arts, such as singing, dancing and acting. The visual arts, such as drawing, painting or photography, are also popular with many teens. Some schools produce plays, singing concerts or dance recitals, but there may also be performing arts organizations in local communities. For teenagers who enjoy the arts, visiting museums, attending concerts or checking out a theater performance can be an exciting way to become involved in the local arts scene.