Exercise for Good
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
People workout to lose weight, have fun, and get healthy. Sadly, many of us do not workout enough. This has led many to become less active and more obese. Lack of will power is often the cause.
There is one way to boost your workout routine. You may be able to add miles and meaning by working out for a cause. It can help you reach your goals while raising money and letting others know about the cause. And you will not be doing the job alone. You can raise more money as part of a group. This will give you a social outlet, too. Here are some events that can get you started.
Walks for Hunger
In many US cities, people go to events that help to ease hunger where they live. The Walk for Hunger in Massachusetts is an event that has been going on for over 50 years.
Pledge walks ask walkers to collect money that is then given to the host organization. Yearly hunger walks in cities around the country are also run by CROP WALK. Their website lets you search to find a walk near you.
Many events support survivors of breast cancer, honor those who have passed, and raise money for research. Some well known walks and runs are the Breast Cancer 3-Day, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
A new event also came into being when 13 women power-walked the New York Marathon wearing decorated bras to raise money for breast cancer research. Men and women around the country and abroad now join Walk the Walk marathons to keep raising money for this cause.
Breast cancer is not the only cancer cause that raises money this way. The Light the Night Walk by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raises money to fund research for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin disease, and myeloma. During the event, people carry lit up balloons to celebrate and honor the lives of those touched by cancer. There are also events like this for prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and other cancers.
9/11 and the War in Iraq
Many events honor those who died in 9/11 as well as those in the Iraq War. One year the James Joyce Ramble donated funds from their 10K to honor the lives and sacrifices of soldiers who have died in Iraq. Each runner had the name of a deceased soldier on their race bib. Runners were also able to read about the soldier.
It is Your Choice
Events like these allow you to meet new people, have fun, and support worthy causes—all while working to keep yourself fit. Start by searching for events where you live. The ACTIVE website is a great place to start. Some events have fees and others are pledge events where you collect money for the cause.
After you have picked an event, you can make a training routine. You might also want to think about doing events in other states or countries, and scheduling them as part of a trip. Make sure you have enough time to raise pledge money and train to get ready. You can also ask your friends and family to join or support you. That way you are spreading the good word—which might also help keep you stay on task.
Canadian Cancer Society
Daily Bread Food Bank
US Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General; 2001. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44206. Accessed June 24, 2021.
Last reviewed June 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 6/24/2021
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