Monday, April 20, 2009
Volunteers help themselves to better health while helping others, according to research by the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the possible health benefits of volunteerism in todayís 60 Second Housecall.
Volunteering can not only improve your community, it may also improve your health.
Research from the Mayo Clinic showed that people who volunteer have lower rates of heart disease and live longer. Previous studies have shown that people who volunteer are more physically and mentally fit than those who donít.
Researchers say the threshold to reap health benefits from volunteering is 100 hours a year. That averages out to just a couple of hours a week.
Here are some tips on how to get started:
Ā Be open-minded: Itís important to volunteer doing something you enjoy, but donít be afraid to think outside your comfort zone. Volunteer opportunities are available not only in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and churches but also at your local art center, animal shelter or state park.
Ā Make realistic commitments : It may be hard to juggle family, work and volunteering, but if you make realistic commitments, youíll be able to make a difference while still managing your life. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can commit.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.