Tag Archives: staying in shape

Give To Charity Just By Staying In Shape

Staying in shape is something that you do for yourself, but wouldn’t it be great if it could help others as well? Well, the good news is that it can. There are lots of different ways that you can give to charity just by exercising – and it won’t cost you a cent. It’s amazing how much more motivated you feel when you know that all that sweat is going to a good cause.

Image source: http://ak6.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2289761/preview/stock-footage-young-woman-jogging-in-the-forest-slow-motion.jpg

One incredible place to check out is the Plus 3 Network. This organization has donated over $1 million to charity so far, thanks to fitness buffs who log their exercise on their site. Simply sign up online – which is free – and then record the exercise you do. This can be anything from running and cycling through to weight training and even yoga. Everything you log gets rewarded with kudos and a donation on your behalf to a charity of your choice. Don’t expect to see hundreds of dollars donated every time you take a walk around the block, but over time it all adds up. The site has corporate sponsors that support it – which is why they are able to make the donations, but all you have to worry about is that you are making a difference. In fact, if you can track your exercise using a device such as a Garmin or iPhone, the site will double the donation.

Did you ever think how much you spend on fitness every year? There is the gym membership and all the healthy food you eat, as well as clothing and supplements. Why not pay for all of these on a credit card that makes donations to charity on your behalf? There are lots of charity credit cards out there, and you can also donate your cashback to charity automatically if you have a Discover Card. In fact, Discover makes an additional donation each year to the charity that receives the most donations from its card members– so your favorite charity could benefit twice. While you’re at it, remember to spend your health and fitness dollars at merchants who give to charity – for instance, Stanton Optical helps the Sparrows Nest.

Image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_AvCOzxKSFT0/TM2dDA3-iWI/AAAAAAAAHz4/lyuFsXNf2Lo/s1600/Chicago+Marathon+Chinatown.JPG

Finally, there is the big one – getting sponsored for staying fit. Obviously, the best known way of doing this is running in an event such as the New York Marathon – 47,000 people did that last year. However, there is no reason that you shouldn’t participate in local charity sporting events – and if there are no events, why not think about getting together with some people in your community to start one? Obviously, you’ll want to let your friends and family know that you’re participating so that they will sponsor you – and don’t forget your colleagues at work. To make it easy for people to donate, register with a site such as Crowdrise, which specializes in running online charity fundraising campaigns – once you have successfully completed the event, your sponsors can make their donations directly on the site. These are seriously great ways to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria was NOT pleased to be put in a leopard-print santa hat

Nymeria was NOT pleased to be put in a leopard-print santa hat

High Intensity Training [Or: For Cardio Haters]: Treadmill Interval Training

Odd title, perhaps. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a cardio hater, but I certainly do not usually enjoy running. Sprinting, sure, but sustained running, no. I’m not sure what it is, whether it bores me, I have poor endurance, or I don’t run properly (definitely a combination of the three). So if you’re like me, or if you just want a new great fat-blasting workout, listen up.

56/365 morning run

56/365 morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

Instead of trying to improve my mile time or extend the amount of mileage in a go, lately I’ve been doing interval training instead. This is perfect for someone like me who is eager for a tough intense workout, but isn’t a huge fan of running for cardio. Using a treadmill for this makes everything a lot easier because you can easily control your speed and monitor it as well.

Treadmill Desk

Treadmill Desk (Photo credit: {platinum})

So go ahead–don’t be scared–jump on that treadmill and get ready for this workout:

25 minutes total

  • Start with a 5 minute walking warm up, but make it brisk–3 or 3.5 mph
  • Now we begin our interval training. Bump up the speed to 5 mph, a light jog
  • After 1 minute, change the speed to 8 mph or something akin to your speed of a sprint
  • Sprint for 1 minute at this pace then slow it down back to 5 mph (or slower if you’re really struggling–but never below 3 mph)
  • Go off and on like this (switching every minute) until your treadmill reads 25 minutes

This interval training is excellent for burning fat. And more importantly–for me–I don’t get bored, because I’m constantly switching speeds and pushing myself hard. It may seem like a long time for such intensity, but it goes by quickly and you will know the hard work you’ve done after. Your body will ache for nutrients.

English: Workout room.

Workout room. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Say you can’t bump it up that high? Or perhaps 25 minutes is just too long for you. Be reasonable, listen to your body, if you need to modify it, do so. For beginners, or people who just want to start smart, extend the rest time (the slow jog or fast walk in between the sprints) to 2-4 minutes instead of just 1. This may be the time you need to help you get all the way to 25 minutes.

And for those who just don’t have the time, simply cut it down farther. But make sure you maintain that speed and don’t cheat. You only cheat yourself. Let us know if you have any questions. As always…stay hungry and fit!