From helping you lose weight to preventing chronic diseases, getting fit has many benefits. With the right workout, you can extend the benefits beyond yourself to help the greater community. No matter your fitness level or preference, here are eight ways that you can help others while getting fit.
Rebuilding Communities – One Home at a Time
Building homes for families that otherwise could not afford it or rebuilding communities in need provide opportunities to give back while working hard in the outdoors.
Organizations like Habitat for Humanity work in communities across the U.S. to provide these volunteer opportunities that are open to people of all skill — and fitness — levels.
Help a Furry Friend
If you are looking for an excuse to get out for a walk or run, look to your local animal shelter or humane society. These organizations frequently look for volunteers who are willing to walk or run dogs that are seeking homes. Many of these canines are active and require time playing or running outside beyond what regular volunteers can provide. This offers a great way to get through a run while making a friend in the process. Depending on your fitness level, you may be assigned dogs with different activity levels.
Organize a Let’s Move! Meetup
To help raise a healthier generation of children, First Lady Michelle Obama initiated Let’s Move! As part of the initiative, the First Lady invites Americans to organize local meetups in their communities to promote healthy lifestyles.
Use your passion for fitness to organize a fun run or a community fitness event. It offers an opportunity to help your local community get active.
Race for a Cause
From raising funds to cure cancer to feeding those in need, racing for a cause gives you extra incentive to train and run your distance. Whether you are training for a 5k or a marathon, your miles give you a reason to get fit and, in turn, help raise funds for those in needs.
Depending on the race, you can take the initiative to raise funds on your own, like you would with Team in Training. Other races, like RUN 10 FEED 10, use your race entry fee to assist a specified organization in need.
Donate Your Miles
Whether you bike, run, or walk, you can donate your miles to charity by using an app on your phone. Charity Miles, for instance, allows you to track your miles by starting the app when you kick off your workout. Determine which charity you would like to support, with options including the Wounded Warrior Project, Stand Up to Cancer, and ASPCA.
Use Your Gardening Skills
Gardening can burn as much as 200 calories per hour, making it a fun and fulfilling way to work out. On top of that, you can donate your home-grown bounty to local homeless and food shelters to help the local community.
Many communities offer common gardens, allowing you to practice your gardening skills even if you live in an urban area. Garden-fresh food offers a number of nutrients, which provides an added bonus for helping to feed those in need.
Contribute For All
In-kind donations have helped make fitness classes available to all socioeconomic levels. From yoga to spin, many studios are now allowing participants to “pay as you can” to enjoy the class — ensuring that everyone has access to a type of workout that typically has only been available to those who could afford it. In doing so, it opens up fitness classes to a broader population who otherwise may have viewed it as a luxury rather than a fitness opportunity. Check with your local fitness organization to see if you can help.
Photo Credits: pixabay.com, pixabay.com, US Navy, pixabay.com, Jonathan Cardy, pixabay.com, and localfitness.com.au.