We all know that lacing up your shoes and hitting the road can come with major benefits: Running can relieve anxiety, boost heart health, and even help us live longer. And if these healthy accolades aren’t enough to turn you into a runner, consider this: By running regularly, you can help other people, too. Considering 60% of people around the world report being more inclined to exercise if it benefits a good cause, this could be just the motivation you need to get moving more this summer.
In honor of this year’s Global Running Day on June 6, here are a few ways to go the extra mile with your next run and use it as an opportunity to positively impact your community and the world at large:
1. Download the Charity Miles app
The Charity Miles phone app provides major incentive to move with a purpose by donating money from a corporate sponsorship pool to charity for every mile users run, walk or bike. Just download the app, choose the charity you’d like to support, and get moving. It’s that easy. Founded in 2012, they’ve donated $2.5 million dollars to date.
This year, Westin Hotels & Resorts is partnering with Charity Miles because they understand giving back is an important part to enhancing ones well-being. From Global Running Day to the end of summer, every time a Westin guest uses the app, the hotel will donate an extra $1 per mile to his or her charity of choice. Westin has long been a leader in the wellness travel space with its world-class fitness studios and gear lending services and their new program makes it even easier, and more rewarding, to stay active when you’re on the road.
2. Run with a friend.
Running with other people is a proven way to maximize enjoyment. Yep, studies show that exercising in a group can improve mental health by 12 percent and reduce stress 26 percent more than working out solo. So go forth and make running with friends the new brunch (or at least log a few miles before you hit that avocado toast). It will help you further relate to each other, improve both of your health regimens, and it can lead to a seriously happy habit.
3. Try plogging.
“Plogging”—a combination of the Swedish words for pick up ("plocka upp") and jog ("joggning")—is the latest fitness craze that you can feel really good about. It calls on runners and walkers to bring a small bag along on their workout and pick up any trash they see along the way. People around the world are embracing this fun way to exercise the whole body and help the planet at the same time (just check out the #plogging tag on Instagram for some major inspo). And considering that 18 billions pounds of plastic waste now ends up in our oceans every year, we need as many ploggers as we can get these days.
4. Move with Purpose.
To kick off a season of awesome runs, Westin Hotels around the world will be celebrating Global Running Day with events that provide people with opportunities to workout and give back. If you’re in NYC on June 6, join the Westin at Times Square and other passionate runners as they take to the streets to clean up the city and raise money through Charity Miles. So wherever you’ll be, join this community of changemakers and challenge yourself to really go distance and we’re sure you’ll feel even better about your workout. We’ll be rooting for you! We’ll be rooting for you!