Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
You know how wonderful walking is for you, but did you also know that your walking can do great things for other people? Many charitable organizations sponsor walks, races and even marathons as a way to raise both money and awareness for their causes. You can walk in almost all of them, too. (By the way, walking a marathon or half-marathon is the next big thing!)
Usually, you will either pay an entry fee (typically $15 to $30) or collect donations from your personal sponsors to support the organization. Sometimes, you can even win prizes for collecting certain amounts of money.
Registering for a charity walk is very motivating and these events can help you stick to your program. No longer are you just “walking”, you are in training. Which makes it all a bit more serious-sounding, but it is true. If you have been living la vida couch potato, a 5K (3.1 mile) walk could seem like a marathon if you do not prepare for it. But, it’s easy and fun if you gradually increase your distance over several weeks.
These organizations do make a difference, too. Much of the credit for educating women about early breast cancer detection is due to the efforts of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The March of Dimes spends its money not just on research but on helping families who have babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and in educating women on healthy pregnancies. You can find walks for autism, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, lupus, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, asthma and many more diseases.
You can make charity walks personal and meaningful to you, too. If you have a friend or loved one or even yourself who is or has been affected by one of these diseases, walking in these events, raising money to fight the disease, and meeting others who have also suffered is a great way to deal with the pain and agony you feel.
If you are lucky enough not to know anyone with any of these diseases, then walk anyway, with compassion for those who do. Walk because you can in honor and support of those who can’t walk.
It is very easy to register for charity walks these days. To find a local walk in your area, do an internet search for your city + walk. Every one I tried had charity walks on the first results page, but go on to the other pages to find more walks. You can even search for your own favorite causes in your city. For instance, try Boston + walk + breast cancer, using your own city and the cause you want to support with walking. Once you find the website for the sponsoring organization, almost all will have online registration. Five minutes later, you’ll be registered and can start training for your very first charity walk! (By the way, collecting the event t-shirts is way cool, too)
If you are always wondering where to stash your keys and ID, try this Shoe Pocket for Walkers. It holds your essentials securely and out of your way.
Here are some great 70's tunes (We Are Family, Shake your Groove Thing, Ring My Bell, Boogie Fever & more) to add to your walking music collection, too - Shape Fitness Music: Walk, Vol. 2 .