Fitness With Heart – Running For A Cause


Whether you are an active and avid athlete, or completely new to the world of fitness, challenging yourself to raise the bar on your daily activity – is a positive move to make when it comes to promoting your personal health and well-being. Regular physical activity is actually a holistic exercise as it provides a boost to your health on emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health!

Over the past several decades, running has become a very popular sport for those looking to make healthy and effective fitness choices. American Frank Shorter made the sport popular when he won the gold medal for the marathon at the 1972 Olympic Games. What’s so excellent about running as a sport is that it’s an affordable way to become more active, and a simple sport when it comes to gauging where you’re at in your health and fitness goals. Similar to biking or swimming, you can simply measure time and distance, to understand your personal growth and challenges.

People get into the running culture for a myriad of reasons. Maybe you want to lose weight, become healthier, meet new friends by joining the running community, or get a little time to yourself, away from the hustle bustle of a career and family. Maybe you’re like me, and you’re jealous of your hip and athletic little sister – jealous enough to slip into your old gym shoes and bring yourself to cross barriers you never thought possible. Whatever’s gotten you to this point, here you are. The tricky stitch now, is actually doing it.

If you’re new to fitness, perhaps getting involved with a 5K or 10K race, would be a great place to start getting involved with the world of running. Most running groups in cities across the globe offer clinics for new runners, solely focused around helping you set and achieve attainable running goals as a starting place. If you’re an intermediate or avid runner, it’s just a matter of getting back into training, and deciding on your personal goals.

While we’re on the topic, have you considered running for a cause? Since you’ve already made the decision to devote your time, energy and courage to your own personal health and well-being, why not up the ante and raise funds for a cause that is close to your heart? As a result, not only will your heart be healthier, your heart muscles will also expand emotionally. Helping others will get your endorphins up. You’ll not only feel healthier and lighter because you pushed through your own challenges, you’ll feel better for helping to raise others up along with you. “Whether you’re running in honor of a family member, or to raise awareness for an issue near and dear, organized athletic events area surefire way to increase your fitness and motivation” says Andrew Feast, with the American Lung Association. “

All it takes is going the extra mile (and you’ll be used to that anyway once you get training) to connect with a cause that connects with your personal values and spreading the word to your family, friends and community. Once people see how hard you are working to not only achieve your personal best, but to provide empowerment, awareness and funding to an important charity – raising money will be easier than you think!

Opportunities To Run And Compete In Honor Of A Charity

If you’re looking to find an event specifically organized to raise funds for your cause, you likely won’t have to look very far. Most well-known causes will have a minimum of one event a year specifically centered around them. Some, causes, like Cancer, heart disease or MS, will have literally hundreds of events globally on an annual basis, both large and small. Not only do these cause specific events usually donate a portion of the enrollment fee, they also encourage you to raise money above and beyond. When you set your sights on a cause specific event, you can find inspiration in the fact that everyone running at the event, both as athletes, and supporters, are there to make a difference for the same reasons you are.

While other events will not be sponsored specifically by a charity, almost all of them will allow you to be sponsored and raising funds for the cause of your choice. If you have any questions at all regarding running for specific causes, the best way to get answers, is to speak with a race organizer.

How About That App?

There is literally, an app for everything! But this is definitely one app that comes in handy when you’re looking to maximize the funds you raise! Charity miles is an app for iPhone and Android that allows you to track your training and earn corporate sponsorship dollars at the same time. Walkers and runners earn $.25/mile. Why not use this in conjunction with your other fundraising efforts to raise even more for your cause?!

The Success Is In The Details

If you’re thinking of running to raise awareness and funds for a cause, you likely already have one in mind that is close to your heart. If you’re unsure however, and would like more information, is a site that independently evaluates charities for their expenses, transparency and accountability. Make sure you understand and agree with the work a charity is doing, regardless of if it’s to build a community, educate or raise funds for research. People interested in donating to support your run may be curious as to whether or not donations are tax deductible. The IRS maintains a list of all exempt organizations for your reference. Lastly, ask questions. Whatever cause you end up aligning yourself with should be able to tell you how your donations are spent!

Don’t Forget About Your Personal Goals

As you raise funds and awareness, don’t forget about your own training and personal fitness goals. Push yourself to achieve your personal bests over and over again! On race day, you will feel the support and power of people rooting for both you, and the charity you’re standing behind. It’s quite the empowering feeling really. And the empowerment – works both ways!

Sandra Goldstein

Sandra Goldstein is health and nutrition writer for Everest Nutrition at She loves running, cats and watching movies in her free time.

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