If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’ve done a few things for charity over the years. As the weather gets warmer, why not do some good and take up a fitness challenge for charity?
Marie Curie is a charity that helps people living with a terminal illness and their families. Although their Great Daffodil Appeal is drawing to a close, it’s not too late to fundraise for cancer charity Marie Curie this year. Here are some ideas for fitness challenges you can take up this spring:
Walking for a charity is a great way to raise funds for a charity. It might seem like the easiest option between a run and bike ride, but you’ll still need to prepare as it can be challenging. This is especially the case for hikes or longer charity walks.
For a walk that’s longer than normal, make sure to work up to the distance progressively. If you are building up to a 5k walk, for instance, and you don’t usually walk more than 20 minutes a day, then try to walk a least a few times a week, adding a few minutes every time. If you’re doing a longer walk or a hike, then you’ll want to take up a more extensive training program with a progressive increase in distance.
Don’t always walk at the same rate: vary your workouts for the best results, introducing hill walks or faster walks once a week. This’ll help make sure that on the day, you can finish your walk quickly, and if you’re doing a walk over a few days, a chance to let your body rest up longer between walks.
With hundreds of charity runs taking place in the UK each year, you’ve got your pick of events to fundraise for a good cause. If you’re new to running, it might be best to stick with a shorter distance like a 10k. Find a good training plan, and decide how you’ll implement it at the start of each week.
Eating healthily and running a 10k can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and strengthen your bones. It’s not as intense as running a marathon: you’ll still be setting goals and training hard, but can also enjoy the scenery and even train with your friends.
Above all, enjoy your training! Running is one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss, as it’ll help you lose weight whilst getting fit. It also increases the release of feel-good endorphins into the brain – so while training will be tough, it can lift self-esteem and fight depression.
Charity Cycle Ride
As with all charity fitness events, the best way not to disappoint your sponsors is to come prepared. A week before the ride, check your bike and make sure it’s in a roadworthy condition. Make sure the saddle height is right for you, and that your tyres have plenty of tread. Also, check your brakes, and make sure all of the gears work properly. It might be a good idea to visit your local cycle shop for a check-up.
Wear the right clothes for the weather, and bring a change of clothes for afterwards. It’s always better to layer as you’ll be able to take off layers if you get too warm. In terms of nutrition, bring your own food and drink as not all events will have food stations.
Lastly, if you’ve got long enough before your charity ride, make sure you cover the full length of the distance at least once. Slowly build up your distance, and make sure to practice on different types of surfaces (road, trail, etc.) For a full training plan, visit Cycling UK’s website.
Once you’ve completed your race and collected the funds, don’t forget to donate it to Marie Curie on their fundraising page.