EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Is living a healthier lifestyle one of your resolutions for 2012? While diet and exercise are important, you may be surprised to learn that volunteering can make a big impact on your health as well, says one volunteer coordinator with Mayo Clinic Health System.
“There are a growing number of studies that show the connection between volunteering and being a healthier person,” said Sarha Baumgard, volunteer supervisor at Mayo Clinic Health System – Northland in Barron and Rice Lake. “Basically, the benefits of volunteering go beyond just feeling good about what you’re doing.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service issued a report that compiled a number studies that found people who volunteered:
- Lived longer
- Were less likely to feel depressed
- Were less likely to suffer from heart disease
Many volunteer opportunities exist throughout Mayo Clinic Health System, including some roles that involve significant walking. To learn more, contact the volunteer coordinator at the site closest to you:
- Barron and Rice Lake: Sarha Baumgard, 715-537-6766
- Bloomer, Chippewa Falls and Colfax: Karen Elwood, 715-568-6812
- Eau Claire: Jennifer Loew, 715-838-3262
- Elmwood, Glenwood City and Menomonie: Rosalie Werner, 715-233-7314
- Osseo: Thea Kurth, 715-597-6148, ext. 7-7972
“People can make 2012 their healthiest year yet by becoming a volunteer,” Baumgard said.