Get Fit, Do Good

stack of hands for the teamwork of friends
stack of hands for the teamwork of friends

For many, exercise and getting fit are synonymous with a gym membership. If wanting to lose some extra pounds and gain muscle mass, state-of-the-art equipment and weights are going to be necessary, and that means that gym membership is necessary too, right? Wrong. There are tons of ways to lose weight and get healthy without joining a gym. In fact, there are ways to work out that can also benefit the people and the community around you while also building strength and shedding a few pounds – volunteering.

There are many ways to volunteer. Some people picture fixing plates of food, some envision walking dogs or brushing other animals, and some see volunteering as sorting through clothes, but there are so many more ways to get involved. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity, for instance, involve heavy labor that gets the sweat pouring and the heart pumping. The satisfaction of being part of a project like building a home for a family in need is an added bonus to the lost pounds and an increase in muscle tone. There are other organizations with similar work needing to be done that are available as well like Building Homes for Heroes and The Fuller Center for Housing.

If the building is not your forte, but you are still interested in growth, then look into a community garden. If your community has one already, then volunteer some time pulling weeds and planting. You will even get the chance to harvest and share what you grow with others. If a local garden has not been established near you, then take a look at creating one. See if your kid’s soccer team wants to get involved or check in with your co-workers about creating a garden near the office that everyone can enjoy and be a part of with you.

From shoveling poop at the animal shelter and sharing your time and expertise as a volunteer fitness instructor at the local YMCA to building houses and growing gardens, there are numerous options for working out and helping out all at once. As long as you are taking part in a cause you believe in, you are making an impact on your personal health through your work and the lives of the people living around you.