Fitness Challenges for Charity: Feel Great While Doing Some Good

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

As you know, it’s often hard to find the motivation to work out.

Signing up for fitness challenges for charity is a great way to stay on track with your own exercise goals while raising money for worthwhile causes. And besides, exercise for charity can be accomplished at any fitness level. From 5Ks to marathons, stair-climbing events to obstacle courses with friends, anyone—beginners and elite athletes alike—can raise money for fantastic causes while accomplishing their fitness goals.

National cancer benefits, animal welfare fundraisers, and homeless charities all host a variety of events, but you can also set up a page on a fundraising website to benefit local non-profits with your own fitness challenges. Here’s what you have to look forward to when you sweat for a cause:


Many organizations offer 5K runs that use their participants’ entry fee as a way to raise funds for their foundations. Countless races also provide runners and walkers with easy-to-use websites that help them raise even more money for their causes by involving their family, friends, and coworkers.

Local race organizers often plan events that help individuals in their communities; fallen soldiers, children battling illness, and families who have experienced hard times are frequently the beneficiaries of such endeavors. If you’re interested, you can find one by looking in your local newspapers or by checking running websites that compile race opportunities.

Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses are a fun way to raise funds with friends

Obstacle courses are one of the best ways to enjoy fitness challenges for charity because you can sign up with friends! Warrior runs, mud runs, and adventure relays all test your fitness abilities with creative courses that promote working together with teammates to get across the finish line. There are several companies that organize these types of fund-raising events nationwide, and local park districts and villages also use their own unique landscapes to map out engaging courses for residents and their families.

Stair Climbs

Heart and lung organizations are partial to organizing stair-climbing fundraisers—probably because so many of us find ourselves huffing and puffing after going up a couple of floors. Iconic buildings in big cities including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the ideal locations for these types of competitions, as they have towering staircases perfect for a sprawling competition. Pledge forms and online donation platforms offer participants additional ways to generate money for worthwhile charities (along with standard entry fees).


Triathlons involve months (and months) of training before competing on race day. This time frame makes them ideal for fundraising. Your family and friends can be involved in each step of the process, sending you positive energy along the way. A training blog is the perfect way to share the ups and downs of your progress and why your non-profit organization is important to you. You may find that your supporters become so invested in the charity (and your goals) that they even volunteer at on-site water stations the day of the event!

Weekend-Long Treks

One of the most effective ways to raise money for any given charity is to ask your supporters to pledge a certain amount for each mile you complete. Events like these not only generate funds for important causes, but they also foster a sense of community while participants reach new fitness goals. This type of fitness fundraiser often takes place over the course of several hours or an entire weekend—and truly allow for a fulfilling experience for the whole family.

It’s easy to stay on the couch, but by investing your exercise success in a worthwhile non-profit organization, you’ll find that fitness challenges for charity are as motivating as they are rewarding. Sign up for a local event this year, and make it an annual tradition to enjoy health and wellness with the ones you love.

What are your favorite charity events? Do you love when they incorporate exercise? Tweet @TomsofMaine to share your answers!

Image sources: Flickr | Wikimedia Commons

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Fitness challenges for charity are a great way to have fun, stay healthy, and raise money for your favorite non-profits. Training is exponentially more rewarding when you're working out for a good cause. Using an upcoming charity event as an excuse to squeeze in some exercise is a win-win for you and your community.