Vim & Vigor - Spring 2011 - North Mississippi - (Page 46)

Getting N 46 Vim & Vigor • SP R I N G 2 011 When you volunteer, you do good for others. But also for yourself Helping Can Be Healing o one will say it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of a gift, a kind gesture or a helping hand. But there are experiences in life that demonstrate that it really is better to give than to receive. Volunteering is one of those experiences. “When you volunteer, you feel good about yourself, you feel stronger about yourself, you feel better about your abilities, you get a sense of accomplishment,” says Bill McGinly, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Even if it’s something as simple as reading a book to a child in the hospital, volunteering in the healthcare arena creates an enormous feeling of connection and gratitude, he explains. “Knowing we’re contributing to the community increases our sense of well-being. It makes us feel happy,” McGinly says. “And it helps us appreciate some of the smaller things in life and how important they are to us—things that we may take for granted.” Studies have shown that being happy has measurable health benefits, such as a strengthened immune system. Other research demonstrates that volunteering, in particular, may be good for your health. A study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service reported decreased rates of depression and greater longevity among people who volunteer. But perhaps the most compelling evidence is the stories of actual volunteers, who can personally attest to what they’ve received by giving of themselves. After Tony Wheeler’s wife passed away about three years ago, he wanted to set up a scholarship in memory of her years of nursing service at the hospital where she had worked. Little did Wheeler know it would be a new beginning for him. Through the connection he made with the hospital foundation, Wheeler began volunteering at the hospital setting up audiovisual equipment for seminars and special events. He spends about 12 to 15 hours a week at the hospital, where he has made friends who have helped him expand his interests, such as giving walking tours of the city. He admits he’s “squeamish” about patient procedures, so serving the hospital in another way is a perfect fit for Wheeler. He has learned a lot about new technology—and he also lost 10 pounds. Wheeler walks up to two miles each time he’s on duty at the hospital, not to mention the walking tours he leads. “I feel younger and healthier, and my doctor may be taking me off my heart medication,” he says. “You have to have some reason to get up in the morning. Knowing there are people counting on me makes me feel good.”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2011 - North Mississippi

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2011 - North Mississippi
Table of Contents
Opening Thoughts
Pump It Up
Heart of the Matter
Every Minute Counts
A Workout for Every Mood
Don’t Fail Your Heart
If Your Bones Could Talk
Healthy Travels
Over 40 and Fabulous
Do-It-Yourself Health?
Fighting Words
Balancing Act
Giving & Getting
Brighten Up
Welcome Aboard
Catch the Spirit

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2011 - North Mississippi

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