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The role of sports tourism in the health of people
Tourism as a means of recreation and rehabilitation of people with health problems
Tourism is a unique means of entertainment and rehabilitation for people with health problems. Its functions correspond to rehabilitation tasks, include various mechanisms of adaptation and self-adaptation, subject to active participation in the process of the rehabilitation, and increase life expectancy.
What makes it possible to consider sports tourism as a means of rehabilitation?
First, sports tourism is a physical activity. It is known that movement is of great importance in human development from the first minutes of life. The movement of various parts of the body, the body as a whole, and movement in space is a necessary factor in developing the physical and psychophysiological qualities of the body throughout life. Chronic diseases, disability, and age-related changes lead, as a rule, to a decrease in motor activity, thereby contributing to the reduction in the mental and physical stability of the body. Tourism has a significant impact on the health of the elderly and people with disabilities. Tourism is a factor counteracting hyperkinesis, which is destructive and affects health and mentality. Motor restrictions significantly reduce life opportunities and cause depression, despair, stress, and loss of self-confidence. Through tourism, therapy, and prevention of psychosomatic diseases, maintenance of physical fitness and health are carried out.
Secondly, sports tourism creates an environment of total communication, in which a person with problems interacts with different people, establishes social contacts, and has the opportunity to perform various social roles. Tourism eliminates the loss of dignity and inferiority and integrates the elderly and the disabled into society. Sports and tourism create an opportunity to establish independent and diverse contacts that help receive confident and effective life support.
Thirdly, the reproductive function of tourism is aimed at restoring the forces expended in the performance of production and daily household duties. Tourism helps to restore the mental resources of a person. At the same time, recreation is active, including various entertainment that allows escaping the monotony of life and work, getting to know the world more widely, familiarizing themselves with different traditions, customs, and new people, and learning previously unknown natural phenomena.
Fourthly, the environmental friendliness of tourism as an activity. A favourable climate, beautiful nature, the proximity of water spaces (river, lake, and sea), natural monuments, and monuments of material culture – all contribute to a positive psycho-emotional mood, which is also a rehabilitating factor.
Fifth, sports tourism provides opportunities for personal development. Knowledge of other peoples’ history, culture, and life carries great humanitarian potential, enriches a person, and broadens his horizons. The humanitarian significance of tourism is not only in its cognition but also in its pacifist orientation, in the intellectual and educational impact on the individual, especially on the younger generation. Tourism helps to establish friendly relations with residents of other regions and countries.
In modern Pakistan, many groups of the population, including pensioners and the disabled, find themselves in a challenging economic and socially unprotected situation. The main goal of the rehabilitation of these groups is to, based on the conditions created by the state, society, and the individual himself, get the opportunity to participate in the working and socially useful life of the community, as well as to improve the quality of life in general. This is possible if we ensure the availability of all spheres of life.
Physical culture in its original, broad sense, including physical exercises and hardening, breathing exercises, tourism and the use of natural factors, good sleep and adequate nutrition, and, of course, the rejection of bad habits, is to a large extent the basis of a healthy lifestyle that drives it. By force, but the foundation, of course, in a personal behavioural sense. After all, it is a fact that in people who have been leading a healthy, physically active lifestyle for more than a year, the results of the functional state can be the same as those of flying people.
Why is this happening? The fact is that physical activity, tourism, and hardening stimulate physical performance, form and mobilize the body’s defences, and contribute to its adaptation to the external environment, thereby pushing back the threshold of diseases caused by ageing. Ultimately, they prolong the active life of a person.
Each person has excellent opportunities to strengthen and maintain their health, to maintain their ability to work, physical activity, and vigor until old age. Statistics, studies, observations, and just common sense testify to the invaluable positive impact of tourism on the human body.
We should say that the health-improving role of tourism has long been of interest to medical scientists. However, the problem of the health-improving effect of active travel has not been sufficiently studied to date compared to other sports. This limits the use of tourism as a factor in the treatment of diseases, and it is used in strictly limited forms of walks and short hikes in the resort treatment complex. In this regard, one should warn against self-treatment by tourism, which is dangerous and unacceptable, like other types of self-treatment.
We should use active travel to prevent various diseases after consultation with specialists from medical and physical education dispensaries and offices, whose tasks include medical support for mass recreational physical education.