There has been some recent research demonstrating that volunteerism can help improve your health. There is evidence stating that helping out in a charitable way can improve your health from improving your blood pressure to extending your life. There was a study that demonstrated that older adults who volunteered fro at least 200 hours per year had improved their blood pressure, levels physical activity and psychological well being. Volunteering can get people out and about, gets you to be mobile, mentally stimulated, engaged in their community and be more social. Research shows links between a lack of social interaction and increased risk of dementia.
Research does warn that there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Ideally it is better to do up to 10 hours month for optimal benefits, based on research funding.
Over the years, they've identified five primary motivations for volunteering:
Values. Volunteering to satisfy personal values or humanitarian concerns. For some people this can have a religious component.
Community concern. Volunteering to help a particular community, such as a neighborhood or ethnic group, to which you feel attached.
Esteem enhancement. Volunteering to feel better about yourself or escape other pressures.
Understanding. Volunteering to gain a better understanding of other people, cultures or places.
Personal development. Volunteering to challenge yourself, meet new people and make new friends, or further your career.
For more information about the research of volunteering, go to http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec06/helping.aspx
What will motivate you to volunteer? What are you interested in?
There are many ways and avenues in the area of Roanoke and surrounding area to volunteer. Talk to your counselor and find out what will move you!