Why Volunteering in Fitness is Good for Your Health
Have you considered volunteering? Most have but then often decide it’s not for them, typically because the type of work they were looking at doesn’t align perfectly with their goals or interests. It doesn’t mean the person is being selfish. It is more about finding something more suited to them. Many out there enjoy fitness, so have you considered volunteering in fitness and how this could benefit your health?
Volunteering is giving up your time for the benefit of others. It’s easy to think that this should just be shopping with the elderly, litter picking, helping out an animal home or trying to get signups for a charity.
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Open up to Fitness
Now that we have seeded the idea of volunteering in fitness, this opens up the opportunity to help in many ways. We will give some examples of ideas to help you with your decision-making.
Here are some excellent places you can volunteer using fitness:
- A local sports club ( football, basketball, tennis, literally any sports).
- After-school clubs, and community centres.
- Dance or fitness for older adults, get them moving.
- Charity run, walk or ride.
- Park or equipment maintenance projects.
- Dog and/or walking with older people, helping to use movement to support the vulnerable.
How is volunteering in fitness good for your health?
A sense of well-being – It is in our nature to nurture, and it makes us feel good to help others, especially those less fortunate.
Squeezing in fitness – In a world that struggles for downtime and exercise, volunteering in fitness also helps us. It means that you will be more active yourself, and when it can be a challenge to be motivated, helping others can be the extra push you need to be more active.
Getting fresh air – Going somewhere to help others also gets us outside, in the fresh air. Nothing beats getting out in the fresh air. It makes us feel energised and revitalised. What could be wrong with that?
Hormone boosting – Being active produces hormones that make our bodies more efficient. These include dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. These hormones work to improve our moods and are often a byproduct of fitness.
Weight management – By helping others with fitness, we are also helping ourselves. Being active burns calories and helps maintain a healthy weight.
Functional fitness – By supporting others with their fitness, we exercise ourselves. Functional fitness improves by doing day-to-day activities and exercises that reflect our primary movements: lifting, pulling, pushing and reaching. These are movements that enhance our functional movements and what we would associate with functional fitness and daily activity, so in helping others, we build ourselves up and improve our functional fitness.
In case you’re wondering about the next steps, they are simply to search online for opportunities in your local community. You can directly approach Schools, clubs, care homes and groups to ask if they need your help. Local councils will likely have volunteer forums and emails for contacts, so engage them, too.
It is a good idea to prepare a one-page document explaining some of your skills or how you may be able to help. This may highlight a benefit that they had yet to consider. Think of this as an abbreviated CV.
Things to be mindful of
You may be required to fill out an enhanced background check to work with children. If you are volunteering with adults, you may still need a background check, especially if some are vulnerable. Applications can take a few weeks, but it is not an issue, just correct administration to protect others.
How to improve your chances
Do a first-aid course. Completing a first aid course will open more doors with clubs and fitness. It may also help you in your job or future as this is a brilliant life skill.
What about equipment
If you’re volunteering typically, this will be with a group. If you are trying to use your interest in fitness, the type of equipment you may want to find would be things like yoga mats, foam rollers, weighted hula hopes, kettlebells and exercise steps. It’s an idea to speak to brands like Mirafit to help you with bulk purchases and commercial savings.
The benefits of bulk purchases include discounts and savings on postage. This is a good option because it will allow you to negotiate. If you are looking for a cause or to raise money, some suppliers will even provide you with images that you can use in promotion to help your cause.
Choosing Group Equipment
The key to choosing group equipment is simple, stackable, low maintenance and something that can be washed or wiped over to provide a functional aid. Group activities are best with bodyweight exercises as these require less equipment and still offer fantastic results.
Here’s why Mats, Steps, Hoops and Bands are such good equipment for your groups.
Mats – Work because they are ideal for groups and can be stored easily, as they are light. You can lay them out and stack them.
Exercise Steps – Similar to Mats, the step can be stacked, making the storage process more manageable. It also means that you can optimise limited space.
Weighted Hoops – If you can hang them, again, these are a simple product to manage and store. They are practical and low maintenance.
Resistance Bands – They come in different strengths; they can be dropped into a box, are good for various exercises, and are easy to clean with warm water when required.
It is simple: if you want to get into fitness to help others and yourself, go out and ask in your community. Send out emails and ensure you have an abbreviated CV-style flier to help you convince others that you can help. Be prepared to find minor barriers. Remember, additional skills such as first aid training could help. Do not get disheartened if things are slower to move than you might like. Remember that you are doing something commendable to improve the lives of others, and a happy byproduct is that you will also enhance your own. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.