Opting to run a race for a charity is a popular and rewarding experience. Every year, a lot of people not only get fit but also challenge themselves, raise awareness and funds for a great cause. Now GoodGym, a Uk based running community with 16500 members makes this possible on a regular basis.
We’re basically a community of runners who get fit by doing good. I think that the word ‘community’ is really important there – the founder Ivo Gromley says-. We really are a group of people who get together and try to achieve something positive.
How? Members meet up once a week and stop-offs along the way to do tasks for the community. As well as getting fit and helping out it’s a really good way of meeting other runners in your local area and learning new run routes. You can either help older people with social visits and tasks they can’t do on their own (such as changing a lightbulb, do some gardening, move furniture), get involved in some community projects planting trees, or clear parks of leaves. You can also be paired with an isolated older person who becomes your “running coach” and whom you visit regularly. Working with the NHS and local community centres, Good Gym encourages runners to take a newspaper or a modest gift to their coach, who in return offers motivational advice.
The social aspect of exercise is so important and if you’re just on a treadmill on your own with headphones on then you’re missing out on what life is about, which is exploring things and meeting people, being part of something and communicating and connecting – Ivo Gromley explains-. That’s why I hope more and more people will choose GoodGym over other gyms.
The charitable element of GoodGym provides also excellent motivation for struggling runners: you will be surprised how much energy comes from knowing that your run has a purpose and that if you don’t do it you are letting down not just yourself but others too.