News of Nelson Mandela’s death has saddened the world. The anti-apartheid icon and South Africa’s first black president, altruistically guided the peaceful transition from white-only rule in his country and left a lasting impression of equality and peace worldwide, passed this past Thursday at the distinguished age of 95. A long, happy, rewarding life well lived, which supports numerous medical studies that claim those who volunteer—to help the sick, the poor, the hungry, the abused, and the disenfranchised—live longer thanks to their unselfish acts.
It seems that the health effects of charitable work are so good for both body, mind, and soul that your graciousness actually reduces early mortality rates by approximately 22-percent vs. individuals who don’t act charitably.
Here are eight good reasons why helping others helps you live longer…
1. Volunteering Actually Makes You Healthier
Giving to others while improving your own health, altruistically of course, is a great benefit of your selfless work. For instance, participating in charity walks, marathons, doing chores for seniors, bike-a-thons, picking up trash, or walking homeless pets are all physical forms of exercise that help you stay in shape.