Breaking a Sweat for a Good Cause
Here’s My Favorite Way to Stay Healthy and Give Back
By Dr. Kat Cohen, IvyWise Founder and CEO
Exercise and fitness have always been one of my go-to approaches to keep my energy high and stress levels low. Finding an outlet for my energy was difficult when safer-at-home orders went into effect, but like everyone else, I’ve gotten creative with how I break a sweat and continue to make an impact in the causes I care deeply about.
Whether it’s trying a new workout or simply getting some fresh air, I always encourage my students to carve out time in their schedules for physical activity. This has been important now more than ever as everyone’s daily routine has been upended – and while some places are starting to open up, not everywhere is going back to “normal.”
Recently, a number of wellness organizations have launched exciting new initiatives to help participants give back while getting in a sweat. The one I’ve been obsessed with since day one is Isaac’s Calpito’s workouts for No Kid Hungry.
Isaac Calpito is one of my favorite fitness instructors ever and his Torch’d program is amazing. He’s a former Broadway dancer, and as a former dancer myself, I connect so well with his workouts. But it’s not just the workouts that resonate with me and the other “boots babies” every morning at 11 am – it’s his cheeky and irreverent personality and his dedication to giving back to others.
He offers free daily workouts via his Instagram (@isaacboots) to build community and help those in need. Participants who wish to donate can pay it forward with a donation to No Kid Hungry, a non-profit dedicated to ending childhood hunger. Through his inspiring workouts that bring a community of clients and friends together, Isaac has already raised well over $400,000. The classes themselves are no joke; the workouts are a vigorous flow of targeted repetition and body resistance designed to build strength from the inside out.
Isaac has made an impact not only on those he’s raising money for, but the community he’s built through Torch’d and Instagram. He’s keeping people who have been isolated during the current pandemic smiling, laughing, and sane – not just fit. He’s pulled together a fantastic community with his love of fitness and helping others.
In addition to Isaac, there are a plethora of other instructors and gyms using their fitness communities to raise money. Here are a few others to check out!
- obeFORWARD: Looking for dance, yoga, boxing, and interval training in one virtual destination? obe checks off all of the boxes. The platform recently launched a monthly educational series called obeFORWARD, which focuses on different social justice issues and donates all proceeds to relevant non-profits. An earlier session was launched to benefit Black Lives Matter, and later this month, a virtual class will be hosted for the 50th anniversary of Pride, commemorating the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
- Peloton Classes for the Ali Forney Center: In honor of Pride Month, Peloton has opted to extend its support of the LGBTQ+ community by donating $100,000 to the Ali Forney Center to empower LGBTQ+ youth and protect them from the harms of homelessness. If you want to show your support by trying a class, don’t worry about not having access to a bike: in addition to cycling classes, Peloton offers yoga, meditation, guided runs, and dance cardio, all of which can be accessed through Peloton Digital, which is currently running a month-long free trial.
- SoulCycle Live: The Give Back Event: If you’ve always been curious to try a SoulCycle class, now is the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in the water while giving back. On June 11th and June 12th, SoulCycle is putting together a weekend of classes both on and off the bike that is taught by some of the brand’s instructors. Classes are hosted on Zoom and participants are welcome to join as many workouts as they would like for free. Attendees can donate to a host of different charities, including the NAACP, Black Futures Lab, and The Okra Project.
- Virtual 5k with Girls on the Run NYC: If you’ve always been interested in participating in a run or walk for charity, it’s time to act fast! Through June 15th, students can register to complete a virtual 5K hosted by Girls on the Run, a non-profit that encourages the development of healthy lifestyles and self-respect in pre-teen girls. Registration is free and participation isn’t limited to runners; participants can bike, walk, or opt for another physical activity such as dance or yoga. All funds raised from the event will go towards ensuring girls can participate in future programs, regardless of financial need.
The next time you feel your stress levels starting to rise or you’re looking for a fun way to give back, I highly recommend checking out one of these activities. Also check out other initiatives dear to me and IvyWise on our IvyWise Gives Back page.
If it’s the college application process that’s causing your anxiety to rise, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. My team of college admissions experts and myself are here to help every student reach their goals.