October 13, 2015
If you follow your favorite celebrities on social media, chances are you’ve seen them endorse the hottest new waist trainer, teatox or superfood system. But here at the Y, we believe that you don’t have to spend Hollywood money to feel and look your best. In fact, one of the very best things you can do for your health is completely free.
We’re talking about volunteering. While community enrichment requires taking time away from your already busy life, just a few hours per month could give you years back in the long run. Step away from the juicer and check out the facts:
Practicing altruism releases oxytocin, also known as the “compassion hormone.” Oxytocin is one of several mood elevating chemicals that the body produces naturally when you give your time selflessly. Increased oxytocin production is proven to reduce stress and increase longevity.
Concerned about high blood pressure? Serving your community regularly can actually lower it. A Carnegie Mellon University study showed that “200 hours of volunteering per year correlated to lower blood pressure.” Volunteering stimulates the mind and gets your body moving.
There’s a direct link between outreach efforts and mental wellbeing. A 2013 study by UnitedHealth Group showed that “Volunteers have better personal scores than non-volunteers on nine well-established measures of emotional wellbeing including personal independence, capacity for rich interpersonal relationships and overall satisfaction with life.”
Next time you head to the Y for a training session, stop by the member experience desk to find out how you can contribute to the programs you and your family love. More than 65 percent of our youth sport coaches are Y members, and a total of 5,747 individuals volunteered their time to Metro programs in 2014.
Whether you’re looking to register your child in a new after school activity, or find an opportunity to give back to the community with your colleagues, we have programs for every age and interest. Call us at 773.947.0700 for more information!