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Using Fitness to Make a Difference

If you’re looking for ways to add some variety to your fitness routine, why not turn your passion for being healthy into a vehicle for helping others?

As many of us look for ways to take our workouts outdoors, this is the perfect time of year to sign up for a walk, run or other athletic event in a town near you that raises money and awareness for everything from cancer to childhood disabilities. Just this past Saturday, my friend Rob laced up for a 5K run in Central Park to benefit the YAI Network, an organization that’s been helping people with developmental disabilities and their families since 1957.

Of course, there are also plenty of fun and meaningful indoor fitness activities to join. I was so excited when my weekend mail included my ticket to the June 29th Zumbathon event at Roseland Ballroom. The proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation and its fight against Parkinson’s Disease. The event co-stars the legendary Tanya Beardsley, who I was lucky to have as my instructor for my licensing workshop earlier this year. I can’t wait to enjoy a heart-pounding good time with some of the gals I met at that workshop, and make some new Zumba friends. The best part will be knowing I shook my booty for a great cause!

If you’re looking for ways to combine your love of fitness and the desire to do good deeds, I found a pretty cool website called  You enter your home state or zip code, the range of dates you’re looking for, and you can then select from a list of activities ranging from golf outings to dancing. You can even narrow your selections by causes ranging from animals to autism.

Whatever you do, another bonus to signing up for a fitness event is you can encourage members of your fitness family to join in the fun. Not only will you motivate each other to push through the last mile or spin cycle, but you get to enjoy breaking a sweat with people you’ve probably been hoping to spend more time with anyway!

We all know the health benefits exercise has to offer, but how great is it being able to turn your heart-pounding moves into positive energy for the world around you? I can’t think of a better reason to continue the search for the countless ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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