Characteristics of Leisure

In "Motivational Foundations of Leisure" by Seppo E. Iso-Ahola and "Pathways to Meaning-Making Through Leisure-Like Pursuits in Global Contexts" by Yoshitaka Iwasaki, both authors are grappling with distinguishing leisure from other aspects of human life. To this end, they are trying to describe the basic characteristics that identify something as leisure as opposed to something not being leisure. However, the big problem for both of them is the elusive definition of "what is leisure," since it is difficult to describe its characteristics if it hard to distinguish leisure from what is not leisure. This problem is made even more difficult in modern society, in that there is something of a continuum between leisure and non-leisure, with many activities seeming like a mix of the two.

For example, a part-time entrepreneur who sets up a party-plan business is engaging in an economic activity, but it is also fun for her (usually the entrepreneur is a woman), and she might see organizing sales parties as a side venture To something she considers work. So maybe this business starts out as a leisure activity, but as she makes more and more money, she may spend more and more time putting on parties to build a serious business. Thus, at some point, holding these fun parties may cease to be a leisure activity – but exactly when this occurs can be hard to tell.

This same problem of distinguishing leisure and not-leisure confronts both Iso-Ahola and Iwasaki in trying to discuss the characteristics of leisure, in that many of these characteristics are use to describe leisure can be true of non-leisure activities, commonly considered work. Iwasaki tries to get around this problem by calling things that he characterizes as aspects of leisure as "leisure-like" activities, and by the same token, one might character what people normally call work as "work-like" activities, but this is Really more of a semantic sleight of hand. Calling something "leisure-like" – or "work-like" for that matter – purely provides a nomenclature that is fuzzier to identify a part of human life that is hard to define. In other words, using a fuzzy term to define what is considered an elusive hard-to-define quality simply points up the fuzziness, but it does not help to clarify the basic characteristics of what is leisure as compared to other aspects of human life.

For example, in the "Motivational Foundations of Leisure", Iso-Ahola seeks to find an explanation for what is leisure in the "basic innate (psychological) needs that are the main energizers of human growth and potential." From his perspective, this need which everyone is born with both defines what people consider leisure and direct them to be involved under various conditions to satisfy those needs. Given this driving need for leisure, then, Iso-Ahola suggests that having a sense of freedom or autonomy is "the central defining characteristic of leisure". However, he distinguishes this feeling of freedom from the everyday characterization of leisure as "free time", which people use for describing the time when they are not working, since only some of this time time may truly be free from any obligations so someone can Do exactly what they want to do.

For instance, if someone performs chores during this time period, this time would not be really free, although Iso-Ahola suggests that the more a person thinks of his work as an obligation, the more free that person would feel when he is engaged In nonwork activities, and there before that activity might really be considered leisure.

From this perspective, then, if a person truly enjoys their work and participates in a variety of activities that contribute to success at work, though these activities might otherwise be considered leisure for someone who engages in these activities for reasons that have nothing to do with Their job, these activities may no longer be considered leisure. An example of this is the salesman or CEO for a company that plays golf with other potential customers. On the one hand, golf is normally regarded as a leisure-time recreational activity. But it has become part of the salesman's or CEO's work, even though the salesman or CEO may freely choose to play golf or not, or engage in an alternate form of entertainment with prospective clients, such as taking them to a show or ballgame. If that person plays golf, goes to a show, or is a spectator at a ball game with members of his family and no work buddies are present, that might be more properly characterized as leisure. But in many cases, the salesman / CEO may take the family along on a golfing, show, or ballgame excursion with his work buddies, thenby muddying the conception of leisure. Under the circumstances, using a continuum from non-leisure to leisure activities may be a good way to characterize different types of leisure, rather than trying to make a distinction between what is leisure and what is not-leisure.

In any event, building on this notice that freedom is a basic characteristic of leisure, Iso-Ahola suggests that leisure activity is characterized by behavior that is self-determined, or which may start off as determined, but can become self-determined by the Process of "internalization" Therefore, to the extent that people perform everyday activities because they want to do so, they make them leisure-like. An example might be if I hate gardening (which I really do), but I start doing it because I can not afford to hire a gardener, and ever I start to feel joy in it, which would turn it into a leisure activity. (But since I can hire a gardener, I have no compelling reason to do this, so for now this is definitely not a leisure-time activity for me).

Then, too, according to Iso-Ahola, leisure might be characterized by escaping, which can contribute to internalizing an activity, which makes it even more a form of leisure.

Iso-Ahola brings together all of these ideas into a pyramid in which the greater one's intrinsic motivation and sense of self-determination, the more one is engaging in true leisure outside of the work context. On the bottom is obligatory nonwork activity participation, such as chores one has to perform in the house. On the next level above this, he diagnoses free-time activity participation in TV and exercise, which he feels are usually not true leisure, since people are not really autonomous in participating in either activity. He claims people lack autonomy in watching TV, because they do not really want to do this and it does not make them feel good about themselves (though this opinion of TV is questionable), and in the case of exercise, he claims that They feel they should do this because it's good for them, rather than because they want to. Finally, at the top of the pyramid is full leisure participation, where one feet complete autonomy and freedom, so one gains intrinsic rewards, a feeling of flow, and social interaction with others.

Finally, to briefly cite Iwasaki's approach to characterizing leisure, he seeks to describe leisure as a way of generating certain types of meanings, although the particular meanings may differ for people experiencing different life experiences or coming from different cultures. In Iwasaki's view, citing the World Leisure Association's description of leisure, meaningful leisure provides "opportunities for self-actualization and further contribution to the quality of community life." As such, leisure includes self-determined behavior, showing competence, engaging in social relationships, having an opportunity for self-reflection and self-affirmation, developing one's identity, and overcoming negative experiences in one's life. Iwasaki also goes on to describe the five key factors which are aspects of leisure (which he prefers to call "leisure-like" pursuits: 1) positive emotions and well-being, 2) positive identities, self-esteem, and spirituality; 3) social and cultural connections and harmony, 4) human strengths and resilience, and 5) learning and human development across the lifespan.

Why Shop at Online Stores?

As the season changes, everyone wants to get out and buy cool clothes and dresses. Some prefer to go shopping with friends at all the trendy stores. A new season means a new wardrobe and a whole new line up clothes. While nothing beats the fun of hunting for a dress or the perfect pair of shoes with a friend, you can now do this more comfortably. I am, of course, talking about the vast array of online stores that have cropped up to cater to your every need.

Reason 1: Online stores come in all shapes and sizes, specifically speaking. They may cater to a particular type of shopper, or they may sell a wide variety of clothes and accessories. That is not the only purpose of online stores. At these websites you can find a lot of useful information about the latest trends. What is in this season? And what is out? You can find the answers to all these questions and more at these stores.

Reason 2: Online stores are not just places for women shoppers. Most stores have a separate section for men. The kid's section is also worth taking a peek at if you are looking for some new clothes for your toddler. In fact, the wide range of selections available often makes decisions a lot harder, but no less fun. Online stores make the shopping experience much easier and hassle-free. If you are not comfortable with the price tag of an item, you can simply look elsewhere. The World Wide Web is a big place, which means that there are countless places to shop. However, the best stores offer high quality dresses and accessories at affordable prices. Once you find a good online store, you should stick with it.

Reason 3: Do you know what is in style this season? You are sure to find all the trendiest clothes online. You can buy dresses online, and have them shipped right to your home. Many online stores even offer free shipping within the United States. The important thing to remember when shopping online is to keep an open mind and lots of available time on your hands. Most online stores stock more items than any of your local clothing stores. It is easy to get lost in a mire of fashionable clothes, accessories, and shoes. If you want to save time, then stick to the items you absolutely need and leave random browsing for a later time.

Training For a Marathon – A Primer

Do you have aspirations for running a marathon? Even an Olympian runner would agree that training is the most crucial part of the game. While training for a marathon, it is important that you prepare properly. If you do not pay attention to proper training, you are doomed to fail. If you have already tried it and found it too challenging then sure you need to get with the program.

As is generally the rule, to get better at something, you need lots of practice and commitment. Brilliant people from all walks of life have just this one secret – practice. Training basically is a mixture of practice, expertise on part of the instructor and commitment on part of the trainee, all brought together to form a winning combination. In addition, trainees in many fields, especially sports, benefit from their natural skill and talent. The good news about running is that it does not require any special skills. One just needs to be able bodied and in good health and the rest can be left to the training regimen.

Training for a marathon requires you to constantly push your body to gain more in terms of stamina and endurance. This requires you to proceed in a consistent manner. Haphazard training will not only fail to give the desired results but will also be a source of discouragement because your body will deteriorate rather than improve. Let us discuss a few guidelines that can be helpful when training for a marathon:

Firstly, you must develop training routines that place minimal stress on your body. Running puts pressure on your joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nervous system. Some degree of slow steady running is necessary to develop the stamina required for marathons but it is imperative to not overdo it.

Secondly, you need to develop other areas of your body that will support your long distance runs. These organs are the heart, the lungs and the muscles. Healthy heart and lungs ensure adequate oxygen supply is maintained to your tissues, and developed red muscles (through aerobic exercise) Ensure that you do not tire easily.

Lastly, you need to read the signs of your body during training for a marathon. Do not torture your body. Gradually make your training harder and harder and take a day of rest and / or lighter training every now and then to allow your body to recover fully.

The Importance of Shoes

Shoes have become an important part of our everyday lives. Shoes were originally designed to protect our feet from cold weather, sharp objects, and uncomfortable surfaces. The early version of the shoe is thought to be a sandal of some form. As man’s knowledge of tools and the working of leather grew, so did the sophistication and quality of the average shoe. Shoes are shaped by the physical and economic environment of their surroundings. For example, the ancient Egyptians wore flip-flops woven from straw while the Dutch wore shoes carved from wood to protect their feet from damp marshy land they worked in.

With the passing of time shoes have become an integral part of daily lives. Shoes have passed on from being an item of luxury to an item of necessity. Fashion also played a role in the evolution of the shoe. The human psyche craves for an individual and unique identity. The nobility and upper classes saw shoes as an opportunity to fulfill this desire. The shoes got more and more extravagant. Cloth, velvet and tapestries began to be used. This was the birth of the shoe industry as we know it today. Today shoes are classified according to their use. They are casual and dress, work, sport and corrective.

All shoes fall in the casual category due to their characteristics. The differentiating factor is the purpose of the shoe. Casual shoes are designed and intended to convey an attitude of relaxation and informality. Casual shoe design has evolved with the passing time. Today’s casual shoes resemble formal dress shoes in many aspects. The distinguishing factor is the color of the shoe. Casual shoes range from flip-flops to sneakers and boots. The materials used in the manufacture range from leather, canvas and rubber to the modern petrochemical derivatives like plastics and xylenes.

Formal dress shoes are of two varieties – laced and lace less. Traditionally they are made from leather and tended to be expensive. The use of plastics and modern manufacture methods has brought down prices. The upper classes still prefer leather over what they consider cheap plastic. Women’s dress shoes may be a variant of pumps or sandals. The style of clothing decides the category of the shoe in case of women. Unisex shoes are a new product in the shoe market.

Sport shoes are specialized shoes designed and created to enable better performance in a particular sporting activity. Sport or athletic footwear is used in a number of sports like football, basketball, cricket, and track and field events. Climbing shoes are also a specialized type to footwear unsuitable to any other sport and even to walking due to its design. It is usually donned at the base of a climb. Basketball and tennis shoes have rubber soles to enable better grip on their respective courts. Sports like football, soccer, baseball and hockey use shoes with metal spikes on the under sole to give better grip for quick starts and stops. Hiking boots or trail boots are designed to support the ankle to prevent injury and to give good grip on rocky surfaces.