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High Intensity Interval Training for the Community

One of the great joys in life is volunteering in the community with your children.  Children are impressionable and exposing them now to the benefits of volunteering will pay dividends down the road.  The trick is to find volunteering that will hold their interest.  Enter High Intensity Interval Training for the community.

With three kids, two jobs, and one busy life, my wife Sarah and I are big fans of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  I first learned about HIIT in a New York Times article citing the benefits of a “7 minute workout” that cycled participants through 12 exercises using only body weight and a chair in only 7 minutes.  Since then, we’ve found a free Johnson & Johnson app that has several pre-planned HIIT workouts as well as the ability to customize your own.   It gets your heart rate up and is a great complement to my running.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised recently to find a couple volunteer activities that help the community, are family-friendly and provide a good workout to boot.  

Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh non-profit whose mission is to “end hunger in our lifetime,” packages thousands of meals in a couple hours with a highly efficient assembly line comprised of dozens of volunteers.  My kids and I ran from table to table collecting packaged meals to put them into boxes.  The payoff?  Ringing a gong every time we packed 250 meals.  Seriously, what kid isn’t going to be excited to ring a gong?

StopHungerNow

The Diaper Bank of North Carolina offers a similarly accessible environment to volunteer with kids.  The Diaper Bank converts donated pallets of diapers into packages of 50 for local community partners to distribute to their clients who cannot afford to buy clean diapers.  When our family volunteered together on Sarah’s birthday, we packaged 3800 diapers in an hour and a half.  We were hustling to count, stack, and package diapers and I definitely broke a sweat.  More importantly, the kids were able to help out with the packaging, continuing their exposure to ways to help in the community.  

DiaperBank

So if you’ve been looking for a way to get your kids volunteering in the community (and get you a workout to boot), check out these ways to get involved with Stop Hunger Now and the Diaper Bank of North Carolina.  And let me know if you have other High Intensity ways to get your kids involved with volunteering!

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Recent post featured in UNC Health Care’s Well magazine

UNC Health Care asked to use my recent post about our family’s experience with excellent customer service at N.C. Children’s Hospital in their quarterly magazine Well.  You can see the Spring 2011 issue with the post–and a charming picture of my three-year-old–here.

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