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- Could Exercising for Charity Result in Better Health?
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Could exercising for charity result in better overall health?
By Stacey Gretka
A clinical trial that began recruiting participants today, October 13, 2015, aims to find out the answer! Through a series of specialized outcome measures, the University of British Columbia plans to compare "prosocial" exercise with "personal" exercise by having participants log their miles in either a charitable app (like Charity Miles) where users earn donations for each mile they walk or run or in a personal tracking app (like Nike + Running) where there is no charitable reward to determine if working out for others is more effective than working out for oneself.
The general assumption is that if you sign up for a program such as Run for Your Life or Relay for a Cure, since others are relying on your engagement, you're more likely to continue consistent exercise as opposed to starting an exercise routine on your own. It's long been known that accountability is a major factor in consistency of habits, could it be possible that the guilt of letting down a charitable cause or the pride of being able to help also encourages people to continue their own improved health habits?
To learn more about this study, and to see if you qualify, visit ClinicalTrials.gov
So what do you think? Are you more likely to stick to your exercise routine when you know someone else is counting on you? If you tend to be more of a prosocial exerciser, try some of these tips to keep you motivated:
- Form or join a running club, basketball meet-up, or other favorite exercise/activity group
- Sign up for a 5K or 10K that benefits a local charity
- Download a Charity Fitness App (like Charity Miles)
- Sign up to coach or help out with a local youth sports team to lead by example