8 Reasons to Participate in a Charity Walk or Run Event

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Odds are you’re familiar with an annual charity walk or fun run in your community; you may also know someone who routinely participates in them. You might think of these events as “goody two-shoes” activities that only make sense for zealous do-gooders or unattainably fit people — but you’d be wrong. Anyone can participate in charity walks and even charity runs, and there’s actually more in it for you than meets the eye. 

Participating in nonprofit fundraising events involving physical activity offers a surprising array of benefits that extend far beyond altruism. Here’s why you should start Googling “charity walks near me.”

1. Support for a Good Cause

One of the primary benefits of participating in a charity walk or run is the opportunity to support fundraising for nonprofits and, in turn, important causes. These events often raise significant funds that allow for research, support services, and advocacy essential for improving the lives of vulnerable populations. Given that we’re living in an era marked by countless forms of injustice, hardship, and division, it’s all the more empowering to take part or all of a day out of our lives to try to correct some of them.

2. Physical Health Benefits

The physical benefits of participating in a charity walk or run are considerable, especially if you’d like a little company in your fitness journey, or don’t know how to get started. In fact, the structured nature of training for a charity event can motivate people to maintain a regular exercise routine, leading to long-term health improvements. Getting regular exercise lowers your blood pressure and promotes a healthy weight, better sleep, increased energy levels, and much more.

Even if you have to push past a little short-term discomfort, your body will ultimately thank you.


Let’s start with the obvious. Running involves a fair amount of power and energy, making your heart and lungs work harder than usual. This is great for cardiovascular health, weight management, strength, endurance, and respiratory wellness. But did you know that running regularly — even for short periods of time — helps people live significantly longer? 

Regular runners can be up to 30% fitter than walkers and non-exercisers, and a large-scale study in Taiwan found runners 30% less likely to die from any cause during the eight years following their initial survey.


That said, even walking offers a degree of all the same health benefits that running does. It’s also more approachable than running, since it doesn’t require any particular level of fitness, and it’s an excellent place to start if you’re interested in working your way up to running. Studies show that even slow walkers enjoy more health benefits than completely sedentary people. If you walk fast enough that you can speak, but not sing, you’ve graduated from light to moderate activity, which increases the extent of these perks.

3. Mental Health and Well-Being

Participating in a nonprofit walk or run fundraiser can improve your mental health in more ways than one (and who doesn’t need that these days)?

Effects of Physical Activity

Engaging in physical activities like walking and running has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The endorphins released during exercise can lead to an improved mood and a more positive outlook. 

Effects of Doing Good in a Social Setting

Participating in a charity event also releases feel-good endorphins, and not only because you’re supporting a good cause. These events tend to create a fun, friendly, and supportive atmosphere, sparking plenty of social interaction. You’ll meet new and like-minded people and possibly even forge new relationships. This can be especially beneficial if you are new to an area, have difficulty getting out of your shell, or are feeling isolated for any reason.

4. Community Engagement and Social Connection

Charity walks and runs foster a sense of community and belonging. Participants often experience a shared sense of purpose and camaraderie, as they are united in supporting a common cause. This can be particularly empowering, creating strong bonds among participants and deeper connections with the broader community. 

5. Raising Awareness and Advocacy

Participating in a charity walk or run helps to raise awareness around specific causes and issues. These events often attract media attention and public interest, helping to educate the community and promote advocacy. On a personal level, you’ll get the satisfaction of learning more about the cause you’re supporting, which might motivate you to bring it up with others — or even get more involved with the nonprofit over time, supporting the cause even more.

6. Personal Fulfillment and Achievement

Completing a charity walk or run can be challenging, which means that conquering personal obstacles can provide a real sense of achievement and fulfillment that you might otherwise never have achieved. Participants often set personal goals, such as finishing within a certain time or raising a specific amount of money. Achieving these goals can significantly boost your self-esteem and confidence, providing a sense of accomplishment that extends beyond the event itself.

7. Fun and Entertainment

Particularly if your routine schedule is in a bit of a rut (and even if it isn’t), you might be surprised at how much fun a nonprofit walk or run can be. Charity walks and runs are often designed to be festive and entertaining, with music, post-event celebrations, and family-friendly activities. These elements enhance the overall experience, making it both enjoyable and memorable — especially if you bring a friend or loved one.

8. Incentives and Rewards

Many charity events offer incentives and rewards to participants, such as medals, t-shirts, and other merchandise. These tangible rewards can serve as a motivator to sign up and complete the event, while also providing a memento of your effort and contribution (and possibly some bragging rights).

This spring, don’t wait — find a local charity walk or run and get in on the fun! Your mind, body, and community will thank you in countless ways.

Participate in a Kidney Walk With the Alabama Kidney Foundation

Alabama ranks first in the number of dialysis patients per capita in the United States, and currently, over 1,000 Alabama residents are waiting for a kidney transplant. The Alabama Kidney Foundation (AKF) provides education, support services, and financial assistance to low-income kidney dialysis patients. The Foundation also provides statewide education to promote organ donation awareness and prevention of kidney disease.

Wondering what you can do to help? Join us in April or May for our Kidney Walk & Celebration events throughout the state, or support these wherever you are by donating to our campaign online. Alternatively, consider volunteering with us to support Alabamian kidney health!

We help connect patients to experts who can provide information on how to manage everything, including dialysis treatment, transplant surgery, and dealing with the mental toll that comes with a kidney disease diagnosis. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!