“Whatever community organization, whether it’s a women’s organization, or fighting for racial justice … you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We all know that volunteering is good as it provides a needed service that helps someone or something. Whether it’s helping out at a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, or planting trees, volunteering is a way to do good and give back to the community. But, did you know that volunteering is good for the volunteer, too? Many studies have shown a positive correlation between volunteering and good health. So, this is another reason to get involved!
The studies mostly looked at older adults, those middle-aged and older, but found that those who volunteered on a regular basis had better physical and mental health. They were happier, had positive relationships with their families, and were better able to cope with illness. I always feel good after doing something for others, but now there is scientific proof that volunteering is good for your mental health!
Physically, the adults who volunteered more had better cardiovascular health. They had lower blood pressure and even recovered better after a heart attack than those who did not volunteer. Researchers say that this can be due to an increase in physical activity, where volunteering makes older adults get out and move more and improve their mood by helping others.
Unfortunately, the studies did not find these noticeable effects in younger adults, but, hey, it can’t hurt to get in the habit of volunteering when you’re young and reap the benefits later. And, you will be doing good for someone in need! Since mental health affects our physical health, we find it important to take care of the entire body. By incorporating volunteer work into our lives, we can help maintain a completely healthy body, both physically and mentally!