If you’ve ever donated your time to a charitable organization, then you probably don’t need to be convinced of the benefits. For many people who volunteer, the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from helping others is reward enough. However, volunteering does have a very real impact on your mental and physical health.
After weight loss surgery, there are many ways to burn calories and improve your health, but few of them give you the chance to help others as well. In addition to providing valuable services to the less fortunate, volunteering can help you:
- Get more physical activity. Even the most relaxed volunteering opportunities can make you break a sweat. Simple activities like cleaning up parks and lifting boxes can be an excellent complement to your normal fitness routine.
- Relieve stress. Volunteering can be a great chance to lower your stress levels, especially if you contribute to a cause you care deeply about or engage in an activity you enjoy.
- Socialize. By volunteering, you’ll introduce yourself to social situations that you never would have otherwise found yourself in. You can meet new people, make friends and connect with your community, which can help you stay positive and supported after weight loss surgery.
Though we may think of volunteers as selfless individuals, these benefits show that there are many personal reasons to donate your time. Volunteering gives you the unique opportunity to help others as you continue to improve your health, making it a potentially valuable part of your life after weight loss surgery.
Ready to get involved? There are many different places that need volunteers, including:
Food banks. Also known as soup kitchens, these establishments work hard to fight hunger in our country and are always looking for people to help out. You can find a food bank in your area through Feeding America.
Habitat for Humanity. This international organization builds homes for the less fortunate, and construction can be an excellent workout. Visit their website to learn more about volunteer opportunities near you.
Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Both organizations offer cheap used clothing and goods to those in need, and they consistently need help in sifting through donations. Both have centers in most cities around the country, so visit the Salvation Army or Goodwill website to find places to volunteer.