Just admit it: When you run in a relay, marathon or the Iron Man, you feel instantly, as if you could conquer the world. Running produces a similar sensation, a release of chemicals in our brain known as endorphins, that jumping, sprinting, climbing stairs and dancing does. Why? Because endorphins make you happy, and when you’re happy, there’s no limit to what you can’t accomplish. So, why not accomplish two birds with one stone? Get fit for a cause, and not only increase your own happiness, but many others’s happiness as well.

If You’re Goal Oriented, Try This!

Sometimes, the daily task of attending a cardio class, or running on the treadmill just doesn’t cut it. You have a family to feed, and a mound of deadlines at work that are increasing by the day. You have dishes to wash, children to keep track of, and relationships to keep running at their best.  And, most importantly, you feel that something is…missing.

It could be that your life is so fast paced, you’re missing out on what matters most – the health of yourself, and the mental and physical health of others in need. Skip the hard core workout, and instead, work out your empathy muscles by registering for your local, upcoming race for a cause. Not a runner? That doesn’t matter as much as the contribution you’re making to others in need. Using your right brain (that’s responsible for intuitive thought and creative problem solving skills) can help you – and your community – forge together this holiday season and form a united front (the way it’s supposed to be).

Getting Creative For a Cure

One of the most popular causes to get involved with is running for the cure, but that’s not the only one. What do you excel at? Is it running, walking, or dancing? If running isn’t your strong suit, don’t enter a race by default. Consider looking into your community by what’s not available – and lead a new event to benefit everyone.

Utilizing Your Unique Skills to Benefit Others

For example, let’s say you never miss a Saturday morning Zumba class, but you know a few friends and family members who can’t pay for their monthly gym membership but would love to take the class with you. Or, let’s say you want to give back to a family this holiday season (and know some others who feel the same). Is racing for a cure the other option? Think creatively, and outside the box. What opportunity do you have within your Saturday morning Zumba class that could allow you to give back while dancing to those exhilarating Latin beats?

Helping yourself goes hand in hand with helping others. Consider suggesting to your Zumba instructor this idea: “Let’s have a toy drive next Saturday! Anyone in the community can come to a holiday themed Zumba class as long as they bring a new toy for a child in need.” Set up a maximum amount for each gift bought (such as a $30 max) and ask the gym manager to post the upcoming event on their calendar. If you’re not into cardio classes, pick an upcoming event you’d love to be part of, and for a cause that you’re passionate about.

As a result, expect your heart to be healthier, and your heart muscles to expand – in a emotional way. Helping others will get those endorphins moving so that you’ll feel lighter, happier, and with an unmatched joy that combined with fitness, will may you experience what the holidays are truly about – giving back, enjoying the company of others, and extending yourself with a compassionate heart.