Volunteering is more often than not done with a selfless heart. Volunteers dedicate their spare time to causes they support because they believe in helping others around them and making the world a better place. While helping others, volunteers receive health benefits from the work that they do as well.
One study has shown a link between volunteering and a decreased risk of hypertension for people in the over 50 age bracket. The study found that individuals who volunteered at least 200 hours per year were in better cardiovascular health or at least less at risk for issues when compared to individuals with fewer or no volunteer hours. It was believed that the additional physical activity along with the happier mental state that volunteering provides was the foundation for the results of the study.
These good vibes from volunteering do more than increase cardiovascular health. Another study showed that the improved cardiovascular state of health also led to a decrease in mortality rates. More specifically, individuals who volunteered in a way that provided social support to others had a lower rate of mortality, according to the study. The research done on volunteers has shown that helping others truly helps yourself in the process.
Volunteering encompasses a variety of skill sets like building houses, preparing food, or caring for animals. No matter which organization an individual decides to share time with, the likelihood of learning new skills in the process is very high. This is another way that volunteering impacts health in a positive way. By learning new skills and new ways to do things or interacting with people, volunteering helps to keep minds sharp and brains functioning. This is especially true for people who may be retired or need stimulation outside of the home. Keep the brain sharp and the heart full by sharing extra time with those who need some help.
From start to finish, volunteering is good for every individual, organization, or cause involved. With the ability to improve personal health and make a change in your community for the better, volunteering seems like a great decision based on service that can leave an impact on the world.