As a member of the New York City Mountain Biking Association, I volunteer my time to build and maintaining multi-use trails throughout parks in New York City. I recently helped with some trail maintenance at Highbridge Park in upper Manhattan. Rather than drive to Highbridge, I decided to up the ante and ride my bicycle the 35 miles from my house. This was a perfect opportunity to reduce my carbon footprint and make our planet a little greener while getting in a full day of exercise and activity. It couldn’t have been a better day too. The sun was shining and temperatures hovered around 85. My ride took just under 2 hours and I managed to put in another 3 hours of solid trail work. At the end, I was a little sore, a little scratched up and a little tired (ok, exhausted was more like it) but also really proud to have done my part to improve our city and make our planet a little greener.
Volunteering to do things like this is a great opportunity to incorporate more activity into your life. I know for me, working outdoors in the park beats sweating in some stale gym any day. Maybe the gym isn’t for you either? Don’t let that stop you from living a more active life. Seek out activities, which you find interesting and keep you active. Volunteer to spend the day playing with kids from a local youth group, participate in a sponsored charity walk or help with general park maintenance in your own community. Get out there. You’ll feel better all around.