Boosting Your Health through Volunteering
There are many benefits to volunteering. Two of the most important benefits is the impact it has on your physical and mental health. According to study done at the University of Michigan, individuals who volunteer tend to live longer than those who don’t. But it’s not just longevity that’s a benefit. Here are a few more health benefits to consider.
Volunteering Reduces Depression
Giving your time and talents to help an organization or another person can reduce the symptoms of depression. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose. Human beings are wired to be selfless and give to others. Volunteering is a great way to boost happy feelings and increase your self-confidence, all working together to reduce the effects of depression.
Volunteering Reduces Stress
Stress is a silent killer. It affects all our body functions from cholesterol to blood pressure. Volunteering helps reduce the effects in two different ways. First, when you start volunteering, you are often getting your body moving and being less sedentary. Second, it provides you with those ‘feel good’ feelings that can help reduce the feelings of anxiousness and stress. Volunteering is a potent way to reduce the effects of stress on your body.
Volunteering Reduces Social Isolation
There’s been a lot in the media during the recent years about social isolation. With the increase in social media use, all age groups are affected. Volunteering gets you out among your peers, provides opportunities for different generations to mingle. The social interaction you will get from volunteering is a great way to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Volunteering Benefits All Ages
The mental and physical health benefits of volunteering are beneficial no matter your age. It can improve your self-worth and boost confidence whether you are 16 or 60 years-old.
We have a lot of different volunteer opportunities available at National Railroad Museum. We are always looking for train conductors and train engineers. And right there is another benefit! You don’t have to know how to drive a train; we can teach you.
In addition to conductors and engineers, we need volunteers for all our special events and educational programs. From Day Out with Thomas to Polar Express, we need an average of 50 volunteers per each day of an event to make it run smoothly, and we always need people to work with students ages 2 – 92.
If you want to enjoy those ‘feel-good’ feelings and reap the physical and mental health benefits of volunteering, I invite you to learn more about the fantastic opportunities to make a difference by volunteering at National Railroad Museum.
Byline: Scott Lozar, Volunteer Coordinator, National Railroad Museum. For volunteer opportunities, email Scott at [email protected].