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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features February 26, 2015

12/1/2012 10:00:00 PM
Make volunteerism your New Year resolution
West Yavapai Guidance Clinic

Are you thinking about making a New Year Resolution for 2013?

Maybe giving up chocolate, losing weight, or exercising more?

What about this idea? Volunteerism. Why, you might respond?

A growing body of research indicates a strong relationship between volunteerism and individual health benefits. Those who volunteer:

• Live longer

• Experience an increase in energy and physical strength

• Enjoy a decrease in daily stress

• Are better able to manage their own chronic illness, health problems

• Are less likely to be obese, having a healthier BMI (Body Mass Index)

As a result, the Americans' Changing Lives survey, through the University of Michigan, reports that volunteers feel more accepting of aging and more optimistic about their lives.

And, listen to this! Several studies have found that volunteers with a chronic or serious illness receive benefits beyond what can be achieved through medical care. Moreover, other reports state volunteerism is almost as beneficial as quitting smoking. Yes, you have read those correctly!

Would you like to reap some of these health benefits in 2013? You can do this while simultaneously assisting other older adults to cope with life-challenging events, such as death of a spouse, inability to drive, separation from family, or declining health, eyesight, or hearing.

Assisting other will enable you to engage in meaningful and tangible results. And the Senior Peer Program of West Yavapai Guidance Clinic has an excellent volunteer opportunity for men and women over age 55. If you would like to know more, and you are over the age of 55, call Susan at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic's Senior Peer Program, 445-5211, ext. 2601.

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