Why Volunteerism is Good for Your Lifelong Health

By: Mollie Shauger | Friday, November 1, 2019 | Social Responsibility

Maria Vasquez volunteers to split wood at Fairview Lake YMCA Camps.

Donating your time to a cause is not just good for the community - it’s also beneficial for your long-term health. Whether you’re volunteering through an organization like the YMCA, or doing simple tasks to help out a family member or a neighbor, you’re nourishing your body and mind.

Here are three ways that volunteerism contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

Lowers stress and boosts mood

Studies have shown that volunteering can have significant impacts on mental health. Giving back naturally makes a person feel good, but also, the meaningful connections that one gains through service work can also have lasting benefits. One study by United HealthCare and VolunteerMatch found that 93 percent of adult volunteers surveyed reported an improved mood, 79 percent reported lower stress levels, and 88 percent had increased self-esteem. 

Could help you live longer

Volunteering can be part of an active lifestyle, and staying physically active is important in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other chronic diseasesSome research has found that there’s a correlation between frequent volunteering and lower blood pressure in adults, which can also help lower one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and premature death. The social engagement that happens through volunteering also decreases feelings of isolation, contributing to a longer and fuller life.

Prevents memory loss 

There’s increasing evidence showing that social interactions, such as those fostered through volunteering, could be key in preventing memory loss associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Also, regular volunteering helps keep one’s mind engaged, therefore improving cognitive health as they age.

Inspired to make an impact in your community? Fairview Lake YMCA offers volunteer opportunities for youth and adults throughout the year. 

Fairview Lake YMCA Camps is a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. Call or visit your local YMCA to learn how you can get involved in projects in your area.


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