The Feed: Sweat Equity & The Philanthropic Workout

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Put all the time you spend in the gym to good use by donating some of your energy to community service through Fit Community. Photo/Kelli Koehler

tom trevino headshotPaul Rezaei was at work one day when he had a bit of an epiphany. One that kind of changed his life, and may even change yours too.

He was standing in the middle of the large gym where he works as a personal trainer, when he noticed something just a little peculiar. Within the racks of dumbbells and rows of stair machines and all the people using them was this: inefficiency.

“This idea we have of exercise is a little strange,” he says. “Going to a box somewhere just to move things around is an odd, relatively modern phenomenon. It seems inefficient. But if you can harness that energy, and actually put it to good use, then you have something.”

Is this what your next workout will look like? It certainly could be if you join up with the folks at Fit Community. Photo/Brittaney Schommer

Is this what your next workout will look like? It certainly could be if you join up with the folks at Fit Community. Photo courtesy Brittaney Schommer.

That something is Fit Community, an organization that combines exercise with volunteerism, and offers folks the opportunity to actually put their muscle to work helping others.

And it’s all free. Free to any organization or person that needs assistance, and free to the volunteers who show up and get a unique workout with a certified trainer.

Fit Community co-founder Paul Rezaei. Photo courtesy Robert Rezaei.

Fit Community co-founder Paul Rezaei. Photo courtesy Robert Rezaei.

“We’ve done everything from park cleanups, to helping people move, to manually installing a large tire obstacle course,” says Rezaei, a San Antonio native and co-founder of the group. “We’ve worked with the Wounded Warrior project and have helped those folks with landscaping, and are now getting involved with other local organizations as well.”

Sometimes the chores are so physically taxing that no extra workout is necessary. But in the event of easier tasks, Rezaei will incorporate a boot camp style moves during the event, or offer a full workout after the volunteer work is done.

No matter what, you get to do something good for your heart, while doing something good from the heart. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Drop down and give me twenty! Fit Community founders Paul Rezaei and Nathan Gamez direct a workout within a workout. Photo/Liz Estrada

Drop down and give me twenty! Fit Community founders Paul Rezaei and Nathan Gamez direct a workout within a workout. Photo/Liz Estrada

Seems the only challenge the group faces is having others fully adopt and understand its unique combination of attributes, namely working out while you help out (which is their current slogan).

“Too often we isolate individual components and miss out on the greater good –  we’ve been doing it for years with food, like taking vitamin C pills as opposed eating a nourishing orange.

“And now we’ve isolated exercise, so that people have this very restrictive definition of what it is” says Rezaei. “We’d like to change the definition of what it can be, so that people use that energy to work with a purpose and intention … We have lots of people who like to workout, and lots of people who need help. And this is a great way to marry the two.”

Think your workouts are tough and functional? Try shoveling pea gravel for a while. Photo/Robert Rezaei

Think your workouts are tough and functional? Try shoveling pea gravel for an hour or so and find out. Photo courtesy Robert Rezaei.

As part of that mission, Fit Community asks people to donate one workout a week toward something bigger than themselves, and literally apply the energy they may use in a scheduled workout toward community projects.

“If you’re planning to workout and sweat, you might as well do some civic service at the same time,” says Rezaei. “You’re killing two birds with one stone. Plus, there’s the social aspect of meeting other people and just having fun.”

Fit Community is currently in the process of establishing itself as an official nonprofit organization, and will be working this Saturday on a graffiti wipeout project from 9–11:30 a.m. The group has opportunities for you to work out and help out nearly every weekend, with all projects and workouts scaleable to just about any fitness level.

Put all the time you spend in the gym to good use by donating some of your energy to community service through Fit Community. Photo/Kelli Koehler

Put all the time you spend in the gym to good use by donating some of your energy to community service through Fit Community. Photo courtesy Kelli Koehler.

“My vision is to have it be a nationwide phenomenon, if not a worldwide one,” says Rezaei. “So that people can travel just about anywhere, look up Fit Community and have the chance to work out and help out where ever they may be.”

Whether you need a hand or want to lend a hand, let’s hope that vision comes true.

To be part of the movement, you can visit the group on Facebook or Meetup, where you’ll find information and updates on all upcoming projects and events.

 

Tom Trevino is a writer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. His weekly column covers anything and everything related to health and wellness. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with certification and training from the Cooper Institute. He has a fondness for dogs, NPR, the New York Times, and anything on two wheels. When he’s not writing, training, or cooking, you can find him wandering the aisles of Central Market.

See All in This Series: The Feed

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The Feed: Tuned In and Tuned Out

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6 thoughts on “The Feed: Sweat Equity & The Philanthropic Workout

  1. Exercise is very beneficial for the health of the body, but some of the exercise are extremely beneficial for the growth and development of the body. Two of them are most important
    one which you explained and other is cardiovascular exercise
    But as we all know that in starting we get tired very soon and the exercise which we have done is not enough, so I used to take workout supplements, which helps me a lot. It increases the my stamina power by supplying some extra energy, and I can complete my exercise easily.

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