13 Volunteer Activities: Helpful Exercises to Burn Calories

by | Feb 10, 2021 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

If you’re looking for ways to help people while also losing weight, you may want to learn more about volunteer opportunities. There is nothing that’s quite as fulfilling as helping other people. The good news is that charitable organizations are always looking for people willing to lend a helping hand. If you’re looking for ways to get in better shape, burn calories, and lose weight while you also volunteer with some reputable organizations, even better!  

Volunteer To Shop for Veterans, Elderly Individuals, & Those with Disabilities

Particularly in the current environment, many people don’t want to take the risk of going to the grocery store. For other people, they might have disabilities that simply prevent them from doing so. This is where you can step in and provide some assistance. When you volunteer to shop for people with disabilities, you are providing exceptional service. It also helps that you walk a tremendous distance as you go up and down the aisles at grocery stores. 

Walking is one of the top exercises to burn calories. This is a relatively low-impact exercise that will also protect your joints from harm. Medical studies have shown that walking even 30 minutes a day can provide important health benefits, such as reducing your chances of developing cardiovascular problems

Another research article showed that walking could also help you prevent the development of other chronic medical conditions, particularly those that create inflammation and damage your joints

Even though people shoot to walk 10,000 steps a day, you don’t have to walk that far to enjoy all of these benefits. Many people simply walk for a half-hour. If you’re shopping for individuals who need assistance, there is a good chance that you’re going to be walking a lot longer than a half-hour. Therefore, this is one of the top volunteer opportunities that will also provide you with exercises to burn calories. If you’re looking for a way to meet new people while also helping out those in need, consider volunteering to shop for individuals who need assistance. 

If you want to count your daily steps, a program like Noom can be helpful. Let us help you get more active today.

Volunteer To Do an Open Water Swim To Raise Money for Charity

If you’re looking for a way to raise money for a local charity while also performing exercises to burn calories, consider volunteering to do an open water swim. In contrast to swims in the pool, an open water swim will take place in a free body of water. This could include a lake, a pond, or the ocean. To raise money for charity, you will reach out to friends, family members, and co-workers to see if they are willing to donate to your cause. Usually, this type of charity swim involves donations per yard, per lap, or per mile. Of course, everyone is welcome to place a maximum on their donation. This scale has been set up to encourage you to push yourself to swim farther. 

Then, during your charity swim, your distance is going to be tracked by someone else. You typically have a goal you are trying to reach. Once you reach that goal, you are finished. 

In addition to raising money for charity, volunteer opportunities involving open water swims are going to provide you with health benefits. A few examples include: 

  • One of the most significant advantages of swimming is that this is much easier on your joints than other exercise forms. Particularly for those who suffer from chronic joint discomfort, swimming is a great way to lose weight. For example, one study found that swimming helps people alleviate joint stiffness and discomfort
  • If you’re trying to start exercising again after suffering an injury, swimming can be an effective form of rehabilitation. For example, one study showed that individuals recovering from lower-body injuries might benefit from the buoyancy of the water. It provides more support for injured muscles and joints, allowing you to exercise without placing your body in harm’s way. 
  • If you’re looking for ways to experience a full-body workout while you exercise to burn calories, swimming is also the answer. Swimming forces you to use just about every muscle in your body, ensuring that every muscle system receives a workout. 

Before your charity swim, you may want to jump in the pool and swim a few laps to see how far you can go. That way, you can provide people with an estimate of how far you can swim during your charity event. This is a great way to burn calories and raise money for a fantastic organization. 

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. Did you know that tracking your exercise with Noom lets you earn back 50% of the calories you burn? That way you can eat more and still lose weight.

Volunteer To Build Homes with Habitat for Humanity

One of the top volunteer organizations in the world is Habitat for Humanity. Providing bountiful volunteer opportunities to everyone, Habitat for Humanity builds houses for those who need them. If you want to help some of the most vulnerable populations in the world, you should consider volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. You will get to see new places, meet new people, and enjoy the fulfilling feeling of putting a roof over someone’s head who sorely needs it.

Of course, these volunteer opportunities are also going to provide you with ways to burn calories. Even though people don’t traditionally look at construction work as an exercise, it certainly gives your body a workout. For example, one published article showed that someone who weighs 155lb would burn more than 200 calories in 30 minutes of construction work. If you decide to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, there is a good chance that you could be outside for the entire day. When you think about the numerous hours you spend building a home, it’s clear that you will burn a significant number of calories. Therefore, this is a great way to lose weight. 

In addition to building homes with people, you may also want to consider volunteering with the Disaster Response arm of Habitat for Humanity. This portion of Habitat for Humanity travels to communities that have recently been hit by natural disasters. Some of the most common examples include hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. Then, you will help them rebuild homes that have been damaged. This is another excellent way to help people in need. 

Finally, when you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, there will be plenty of people around you who are just like you. Therefore, you can learn from those who have volunteered with this organization in the past. Habitat for Humanity’s Volunteer opportunities are rewarding, fast-paced, and provide you with a chance to learn new skills. You might even be able to repair your own home after you spend some time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity! 

Contact the Local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in Your Area

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities that will provide you with a bit of diversity, you may want to reach out to the local Boy Scout or Girl Scout chapter in your area. These are organizations that teach survival skills and encourage people to become active members of the community. For example, there might be a Boy Scout who has an Eagle Scout project coming up. When someone in the Boy Scouts is trying to earn his Eagle Award, he has to perform a large project that benefits the local community. To complete this project, he will have to ask for volunteers from his local Boy Scout chapter. In some cases, they welcome outside volunteers. This may provide you with an opportunity to help out a young member of your community while also performing charity work in the local area.

When people think about Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, they often think about selling popcorn and cookies. Even If you’re not interested in purchasing any popcorn or cookies, you may be able to help the local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts raise some money for charity. You could ask around and see if any of your friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers would be interested in purchasing some. 

Finally, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts tend to do volunteer activities outdoors regularly. For example, they might be beautifying a local street or garden. You could always reach out to the chapter and see if they are willing to let you help. This is a great way to help your local community while also burning some calories while working outdoors. 

If you’re looking to lose weight with community support as well, Noom may be a good option for you! With 1:1 health coaching, food tracking, meal plans, and even educational lessons, this program is designed to help you lose weight and keep it off.

Volunteer with NFL Play 60 or Other Kids’ Sports Leagues

If you’re someone who loves sports, you may want to consider volunteering with some of the local kids’ sports leagues. This is an excellent opportunity for you to impact the lives of children in your community positively. The NFL Play 60 movement is one of the most prominent examples. Play 60 is funded by the National Football League and encourages children to be active for 60 minutes a day. Because there are more children every year who are struggling to keep their weight under control, this is one example of how local sports leagues try to encourage kids to stay active. 

If you’re looking for exercises to burn calories, one of the most direct ways could involve playing sports. Even though the NFL movement is the most obvious, there are other sports leagues with which you might be able to volunteer. For example, you can play basketball, baseball, or soccer with some local kids through a Parks and Recreation league in your city or town. There is a good chance that you will also teach them some of the skills they need to succeed when they are playing sports and in life. 

Some of the benefits of teaching kids how to play sports include: 

  • Kids learn about competition, teamwork, and discipline. 
  • Kids develop skills they need to stay in shape throughout the rest of their lives. 
  • Kids learn how to both win and lose gracefully. 
  • Kids get to learn from generous adults who volunteer their time with these organizations.

This could include you. If you’re someone who loves to play sports and enjoys working with kids, consider volunteering with the NFL Play 60 movement or some of the other sports leagues that could be active in your area. This is one of the top volunteer opportunities available and will provide you with numerous exercises to burn calories. 

Volunteer To Plant Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

If you would like to look for volunteer opportunities outdoors, consider gardening. Even though most people don’t think about gardening as one of the top exercises to burn calories, you will certainly burn your fair share. You also get the fulfillment of raising fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re thinking about exploring gardening as a potential volunteer opportunity, you should talk to friends, family members, and local charitable organizations. Figure out what types of fruits and vegetables need to be planted. Then, put your green thumb to use and see if you can get a few seeds to be donated. Find a spot to plant your garden and get to work! You may be able to get other people to join you. 

For those who love to garden, gardening is a relatively intense exercise. According to information that has been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardening for even 30 minutes will burn more calories than moderately walking during that same period. 

Another study that was published echoed many of these same benefits. The study showed that men and women who participated in gardening activities regularly ended up with lower BMIs and those who didn’t garden regularly. If you’re looking for exercises to burn calories, you should consider gardening. 

If you’re thinking about gardening as one of your volunteer opportunities, it’s essential to do so safely. Some of the key tips that you should note include:

  • Make sure that you always wear gloves when you are working outside. When you wear proper gloves, you reduce the chances of developing blisters and prevent your skin from being damaged by fertilizers and pesticides. 
  • Make sure that you take breaks regularly. If you engage in prolonged, repetitive motions, you could develop inflammation inside your joints, leading to discomfort. 
  • Ensure that you use proper posture. When you garden with the appropriate posture, you can garden for longer periods. 
  • Even though you are going to be tempted to use your hands, use the tools instead. The tools are there to prevent you from wearing out your fingers, joints, and fingernails. 
  • Make sure you wear sunscreen while you are working outside. If you expose your skin to the sun for too long, you might develop a skin burn. 

Following these safety tips will help you get the most out of your gardening experience. When you decide to garden as one of your volunteer opportunities, you can provide your community with fresh fruits and vegetables and beautify the area. 

Adopt a Mile & Clean Up the Roads

If you walk around your community and realize there is trash all over the place, you may be wondering if you can do something about it. There are often signs on roads that say they have been “adopted” by a person or an organization. Why not volunteer to adopt a section of the road in your community? This is a great way to perform a service while also cleaning up a portion of your town that really needs it. 

If you decide to adopt a mile in your community, you need to make sure that you clean it regularly. Sadly, there is likely to be quite a bit of trash deposited in the area. As you walk up and down the road picking up litter and beautifying the space, you will also enjoy health benefits. For example:

  • Medical studies have shown that walking regularly, including to beautify your community, can improve your overall mental health. For example, it might be able to help you control negative thoughts and emotions. 
  • Medical studies have also shown that walking regularly can help you improve your creative thinking. Instead of sitting in place and stewing over negative thoughts, your mind will be given more room to wander as you beautify your community.
  • Walking even 30 minutes per day a few days per week can help you burn fat and lose weight, protect your joints, muscles, and ligaments from undue stress.
  • Finally, walking regularly will also help you improve your cardiovascular health. You may notice that your strength, flexibility, and endurance improve when you walk regularly. 

These are just a few of the numerous benefits that you will enjoy if you decide to adopt a mile and clean up your local community. You need to make sure that you do so safely. Some of the key safety tips to keep in mind include: 

  • When possible, make sure that you are walking against traffic. This will make it easier for you to spot cars that are coming toward you. You can take evasive action if necessary.
  • Try to wear brightly colored clothing. If you go outside and start trying to beautify the area in dark clothing, you may blend in with the background, making it harder for drivers to see you.
  • Finally, try to avoid picking up litter at night. It’s much harder for cars to see you at night, and it could increase your chances of being struck. 

Walking is one of the top exercises to burn calories, and adopting a mile of your community is one of the best volunteer opportunities. Therefore, why not combine the best of both worlds and help out your local area? Think about adopting a local road.

In fact, you can even make daily step goals and track your exercise with programs like Noom. Our system uses health tracking, exercise goals, custom food plans, and more, so you can lose weight and keep it off.

Start a Charity Car Wash

If it’s relatively warm outside, and you are looking for a way to get creative, think about starting a charity car wash. 

This is a great way to create volunteer opportunities for your neighbors, friends, and family members. Ask around and see if people would be open to opening up a charity car wash. Then, find a parking lot of a large building, such as a school, and see if they would be willing to let you run a car wash in their parking lot. Typically, they will be happy to help you run your car wash if you give them a portion of the proceeds. If this is a local school, this is just another way to donate to an organization in need! 

A charity car wash can be as straightforward or as creative as you want it to be. For example, you may wish to provide snacks for people waiting for their cars to be washed. This is another way to make a few extra dollars. You might even be able to get local grocery or hardware stores to participate by donating cleaning supplies for free. Sometimes, they will be happy to provide you with these supplies for free as long as you put up a sign for their organization in front of the car wash. This is just another way that you can get more of the community involved. 

When you get to work washing cars, it’s easy to lose track of time, and you need to protect your health and safety first. This means wearing sunscreen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sun can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. If you’re wet, you might not realize that you are sitting in direct view of the sun. The water will magnify the sun and could cause you to burn faster. Therefore, make sure that you wear sunscreen and reapply it regularly. Some of the essential tips to keep in mind include: 

  • Make sure that you take a close look at the SPF, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. You want to choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 50. If you tend to burn quickly, you want to choose a sunscreen that has a higher SPF.
  • Look for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can cause sunburn. In addition to sunburn, UVB rays can also cause age spots and wrinkles. 
  • After you apply sunscreen once, you need to reapply sunscreen regularly. In general, you should try to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you’re getting wet, such as participating in a car wash, you need to reapply sunscreen more often. 
  • When you are looking for sunscreen, make sure that it’s not expired. If you picked out sunscreen from the bottom of your cabinet, there is a chance that it might have expired down there.

These are a few of the most important sun safety tips that you should keep in mind when participating in a charity car wash. Cleaning cars is certainly going to help you burn calories during the day. Think about creating your volunteer opportunities by starting a charity car wash. 

If you’re looking to burn more calories during the day, a weight-loss program like Noom may be able to help, especially since we offer users tools like daily exercise goals, 1:1 coaching, health tracking, and personalized meal plans. Check it out today!

Contact the Local YMCA

When people think about local charities, they often think about the YMCA. The YMCA may have a list of charitable opportunities that are taking place. These charity events can be as strenuous or as relaxed as you would like them to be. For example, if you’re looking for relatively laid-back volunteer opportunities, you might be able to help the YMCA with their next blood drive. The medical community is always looking for more blood that can help save people’s lives. The YMCA is one of the most common locations at which blood drives are held. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for exercises to burn calories, there are other opportunities through the YMCA. For example, they could have charity events that are taking place right in their local gym. This is an excellent way for you to get in some weight training while volunteering to help a local charitable organization. One study even showed that exercising to music can help you push your workout even farther! If there is a competition taking place for charity, put on some music, and get people to push a little bit harder! 

There is a good chance that the YMCA is looking for people to help them out with cleaning and construction work. For example, they might be putting in some fields on their property and need people to help them finish them. 

Or, the YMCA might be looking to plant plants and trees or bushes on their property. This is another way for you to burn calories while helping out a volunteer organization. 

Finally, if the YMCA hosts an overnight event, they might need people to help cook or clean. This is just another way that you can volunteer to help out. 

Volunteer to Run Miles for Charity

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities that allow you to perform exercises to burn calories, consider running miles for local charities. In this setup, you are going to ask people to donate money per mile you run. Then, people will donate money per the number of miles you ran when you complete these miles. Most people will place a maximum on the amount of money they donate; however, the goal is to get you to push just a little bit harder. If you run an extra mile, this could be a lot of extra money for a charity that sorely needs it. 

If you decide to run miles for a charitable organization, there are a lot of health benefits that you are going to enjoy. These include: 

  • Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you happy. Therefore, running is a great way for you to improve your overall mood. 
  • Medical studies have shown that running and jogging are exceptional activities to improve your bones’ health. If you would like to prevent yourself from developing bone density issues in the future, it’s important to exercise regularly. 
  • Running regularly is also beneficial for your cardiovascular health. If you would like to protect your cardiovascular system, you need to engage in cardio activity. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people get at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly. Running certainly qualifies as a vigorous aerobic activity. Of course, the faster you push yourself to run, the quicker you might get tired. If you want to raise as much money for charity as possible, it’s important to train for this event. That way, you can run faster, farther, and make more money for charity while also enjoying a wide range of health benefits. Making an effort to run to raise money for charity is one of the top volunteer opportunities. 

Offer to Plant Flowers in Public Work Areas

If you happen to have a green thumb, you can always volunteer to plant flowers at local public works areas. There is a good chance there are buildings in your local community that could use a bit of aesthetic assistance. One of the ways to do this is to plant flowers. If you’re looking to get other organizations involved, you can visit your local hardware store and see if they would be willing to donate a few flowers or some seeds to you. They might also be willing to provide you with some tools you can use while you are gardening.

When you are gardening, you need to protect your joints from harm. Some of the key tips to keep in mind include: 

  • Make sure that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This will prevent you from developing muscle cramps. 
  • If you’re gardening for the first time, it might help to talk to someone who does it regularly. Make sure that you use proper posture when you are on your hands and knees. 
  • If your local hardware store was generous enough to provide you with tools you can use, make sure that you use them instead of your hands and wrists. This will prevent you from developing joint discomfort. 

You may not realize just how hard you are working when you are gardening. This is a great way for you to help out some public works projects in your local area while also performing exercises to burn calories.

Volunteer to Be a Dog Walker for Those in Need

If you love animals, volunteer to be a local dog walker. There are lots of people who own dogs. After all, they are referred to as man’s best friend for a reason. 

On the other hand, a lot of dogs don’t get the physical activity they need. Many pet owners would love to let people walk their dogs for them. Dogs always look much happier after they have gone on a walk. 

There are a lot of benefits to enjoy if you volunteer to be a dog walker. Even though the cardiovascular and weight loss benefits of walking are well-known, studies have shown that walking regularly will boost your immune system. For example, one study tracked 1,000 adults during the flu season. Those who walked regularly ended up with fewer respiratory illnesses and fewer sick days than those who did not walk. 

If you would like to spend more time with four-legged friends in your area, consider volunteering to be a dog walker. People who are elderly or have chronic medical conditions may be unable to walk their dogs. This is a great way to meet new people, perform exercises to burn calories, and spend more time around animals! 

Science shows that having people to support your weight-loss goals can be effective. That’s why Noom offers 1:1 coaching in addition to health tracking tools and educational material. We help you learn to choose healthy foods and build habits to reach success.

Volunteer To Build a Playground in your Town

Finally, If you’re looking for other construction opportunities in the local area, consider stepping up to build a playground. The sad reality is that many kids don’t have a safe place to play. Instead, they spend their days sitting in front of the TV playing video games. This is not good for their emotional or physical health. Putting up a playground will encourage them to get outside!

You can provide help with this issue by volunteering with a local organization to build a playground. As one of the top exercises to burn calories, construction work will undoubtedly help you lose weight. You will also learn new skills that you may be able to apply elsewhere. Talk to local members of your community and see if any of them work with organizations that put up playgrounds. Then, see if you can volunteer! This is a great way to put a smile on the faces of children and your local community.

Look for Volunteer Opportunities & Exercise at the Same Time

If you’re looking for a way to get in better shape while also helping out local organizations that need it, think about looking for volunteer opportunities. Many volunteer opportunities are physically active and will provide you with a chance to perform exercises to burn calories. Whether you are swimming, walking, running, doing construction, or gardening, these are all great ways to help out the local area while burning a few extra calories at the same time. When you are volunteering with local organizations, make sure that you place your safety and the safety of others first, particularly while working with power tools or in the outdoors. If you need a little bit of extra motivation to exercise regularly, check out some local volunteer organizations!

Exercising can be easier when you have a weight-loss system in place to keep you in check. That’s where Noom comes in. We use custom meal plans, educational lessons, food logging, and other clinically-backed tools to help users lose weight for good.