Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Work (it) out

Shape your body, shape the world.
  [vote for,

People around the world spend heaps of money on fitness/gym memberships. Some just go outdoors to jog, rollerblade or play team sports. I have to make community service as one of the requirements to get my degree in may. A group of 24 students and myself attended a pretty poor community center all semester where we had to do gardening, re-building some walls that were almost in ruins and paint the whole place so that the local illiterate people over 40 could use the place to finish elementary school, take english classes and other activities for free.

Every time I ended up exhausted from the workout: painting walls and carrying bricks for 2 hours can burn more calories than most people think. I realised throught this experience that one doesn't need an expensive membership to become fit when they can do the same free of charge while helping less fortunate people have a better life. I thought: why not creating "Work OUT", a citizen-run organisation to enrole people into outdoor community service activities according to their physical goals? There would be graffitti cleaning brigades for those interested on shaping their arm muscles; those who want to improve their physical endurance can chase the dogs on the streets to put them in shelters and clean the streets, those who want to lose weight can teach football, baseball and other sports to poor kids, and building houses for the poor would be appealing for those interested in an intensive workout. A monthly tax-deductable fee will be required from the exercisers and the beneficiaries of "Work OUT" in order to cover the costs of the activities (materials, paint, etc).

This would be particularly productive for everyone in third world countries (like mine) where the government steals the money from the taxes and does shit for the citizens. That's why I didn't know whether I should put this idea in the category of culture: self-help or in health: exercise, since it's both... it's a way to help yourself while helping others, it's building yourself some possitive karma, only making sure that the good you do to others does return to you. It's making a better world for everyone: if we all have to live in our bodies as much as we have to live in this world for as long as we're alive, we better make them better.

Pericles, Apr 27 2003

Pooches In The Park http://artisttec.co...letter/pooches.html
Volunteers walk pound dogs in high-traffic area both to excersice the dog and help them get adopted. Would make a good, consistant leg excercise for the walker as well. [Worldgineer, Oct 05 2004]

Halfbakery: make money while you exercise make_20money_20while_20you_20excercise
For money, not good, but same basic idea. [jutta, May 16 2006]


       Excellent idea, Pericles.
Side benefit: May help superficial people get over them elves.
thumbwax, Apr 27 2003

       I just spent my morning at a walk for Camp Ronald McDonald. I spent about an hour carrying cases of bottled water down several flights of stairs to the lawn, then another hour afterward carrying the leftovers back up. It was quite a workout. Croissant.
mandy, Apr 27 2003

       As you say, these sorts of volunteer groups already exist. What is new about this?
waugsqueke, Apr 27 2003

       Habitat for Humanity springs to mind. As do numerous other, existing volunteer programs. What's new about this idea? Pointing out that you can get fit volunteering?
phoenix, Apr 27 2003

       Couldn't agree more, Pericles. When you consider the amount of effort and energy uselessly burnt off in a gym on any given day - people running on treadmills, using weight machines that only put the weight back in it's original starting position for the next user - that's a lot of wasted effort. Or rather, that's effort that just serves the gym user; energy expended for the purposes of personal vanity.   

       Your idea liberates all that expended effort for the good of all of us - it's a win-win situation. And even that great sage of our time Mr Miyagee (from the Karate Kid movies) advocated something similar - paint the fence. Wax on, wax off. etc.   

       If I could vote more than once I would. Good idea, and then some.
dustmonkey, Apr 27 2003

       What's *not* baked about this is the approach to the target audience. In the baked sense, those who are in it for the charitable aspect get the woikout as a side benefit. By implementing the idea, those who are in it for the woikout get the benefit of being charitable - and in good time, get their priorities straight, as have those who do the baked version already.
thumbwax, Apr 27 2003

       Very nice, Per. ++ good!
Would there be age limits? my church doesn't let me participate in stuff like habitat for humanity because i'm too young (liability...) anyway, this idea kicks azz, and i wish i were more articulate so i could express that with more feeling.
igirl, Apr 27 2003

       For those wondering what is new about this idea, it is very simple. Many volunteer programs already exist, but usually they approach the taskt differently. Here, volunteers initially go to work out for free, motivated by a will of help with potential to be developed not much later, as thumbwax pointed out, when they learn that they can direct their energy to something that helps others instead of just wasting them (and their money) on a machine. As a plus, they save tax money from getting in shape. It helps build a culture of possitive karma (a win-win situation) and human brotherhood. Whatever you do for someone, will get back to you.   

       igirl: no age limits. I think it's never too early nor too late to learn about the importance of being helpful for others, and for yourself.
Pericles, Apr 28 2003

       I still don't see what is new about the idea. How is what you just described not "Habitat for Humanity", for example?
waugsqueke, Apr 28 2003

       waugs: As the body of the idea reads, in Work OUT they would charge a monthly fee to the exercisers and those who get benefit from it. It's tax deductable (is "deductable" a real word or did I just make it up?) so you're not really giving your money away. The main idea is that it REPLACES the need of going to a gym. People who volunteer in "habitat for humanity" and other volunteer programs don't do it for the workout. Here, the workout is the motivation, and you help on whatever task goes according to your physical goals, but really it is the side effect of being of some use to your community. Do I really have to explain the whole thing again? is it not clear?
Pericles, Apr 28 2003

       UB, you are truly evil. I know because I thought of that too.   

       Pericles, this is ass-backwards - ¡excelente! pastelería.
Shz, Apr 28 2003

       This isn't baked just because volunteer groups already exist - and I'm sure Pericles knew about the existence of volunteer groups when he posted the idea.
What I see as novel about this idea is that it seeks to package up voluntary work in short chunks which can easily replace a visit to the gym. It's all about making the world of voluntary community work accessible to the average person who also has the demands of a family and a full-time job.
hippo, Apr 28 2003

       whereas pericles is seeing the ANGEL
peter2, Apr 28 2003

       I'm with [waugs] in feeling that this is fairly baked, though the aspect of deliberately choosing community project work that provides aerobic workouts is a interesting angle. I like the idea of sending people into their communities to get fit instead of sweating it up in the insular environment of a health club. Good perspective on how the "other half" lives. I see a challenge in finding charities that are ready to sign people up to provide 30 minutes of aerobic work at times convenient to work, school and other schedules.
Don Quixote, Apr 28 2003

       Isn't this the Peace Corp?
ato_de, Apr 28 2003

       Okay.. so the idea is to repurpose programs like "Habitat for Humanity" as workout programs and make people pay to participate. Got it. Fishbone.   

       I am hugely supportive of charitable work. And it's great that people get in better shape doing it. I think the idea of 'selling' it as a work-out program misses the point by miles. I got big problems with that.
waugsqueke, Apr 28 2003

       No, Tom, that's not it. She's saying that people should _pay_ to volunteer.
waugsqueke, Apr 28 2003

       ! ;)
DrCurry, Apr 28 2003

       uh, you mean gyms aren't ... - er, never mind.
hippo, Apr 28 2003

       //She's saying that people should _pay_ to volunteer//
You say that like it's a bad thing.
thumbwax, Apr 28 2003

       It is a bad thing. It's taking a charitible organization and turning it into a commercial enterprise.
waugsqueke, Apr 28 2003

       In response to [Waugs]'s comment: //I think the idea of 'selling' it as a work-out program misses the point by miles. I got big problems with that.// All I have to say is that if you want to find something bad in an idea, you will. You mean then that you can't see how implementing this idea would make an attitude change in those who approach "Work OUT" only to get in shape? You think they really wouldn't realize how they could focus their energies to something more productive other than pedalling on a fix bicicle? Other than themselves? Then you were right, you have big problems with that.   

       Secondly, they are not PAYING to volunteer. They will get a full refund by the government who, on the first place, should be paying to have all the community work done.
Pericles, Apr 28 2003

       croissant ++   

       brilliant. sign me up.   

       side note: can anyone explain the halfbakery phenominon of dropping the letter s of the word self? i can't figure it out.
urbanmatador, Apr 28 2003

       I think it started with a troll hollering "THINK FOR YOURELVES, PEOPLE!"
thumbwax, Apr 29 2003

       //Hm, I expected this to be a line of openly gay gyms. //   

       That's already baked in my neighborhood (New York Sports Club, Chelsea, NYC).
snarfyguy, Apr 29 2003

       I pray for the day when they finally get over it.
waugsqueke, Apr 29 2003

       Some folks never get over things. Take my dear, departed Grandmother <Henny>*please*</Henny> - she always believed in faeries, having grown up with many a book featuring them. They're all in storage 165 miles away, so I can't name a title of even one of them, but a good many of them are first editions. A few feature her pre-writing scribbles, 2 contain the seeds of her learning to write, which indicates just how old they are and how young her imagination was. She let me use the word *elf* as I thought the faeries in the few faerie books I did read were sissies. She taught me to read, increase my knowledge of the world distant, not just nearby, and more than any hearing school teacher - to hear, and to speak. I, as many hard-of-hearing kids, had a difficult time with words like self or shelf, (lotsa air moving) so we made a bit of a game of it. We'd say "elf" all we wanted, but for every s- or sh- gone missing, (along with ch-, too) I'd woik harder with her on developing my speech, without complaint. So, when I use the word "elf" in some context, just as when I put ( ) around letters which are part and parcel of a word the way it's spelled someplace else in this small world, I'm hono(u)ring her memory, and much, much more. Honest.
thumbwax, Apr 29 2003

       [jutta], [waugs], [thubwax] thanks for the history. i always just figured [thunbwax] had a faulty keyboard or was perhaps under some mistaken impression as to the species to which he belonged.   

       </side note>
urbanmatador, Apr 29 2003

       Speak for your elf.
thumbwax, Apr 30 2003

       Sheesh - you should have skilled the lessons and got yourself a job in cartoons!
DrCurry, Apr 30 2003

       What I'm reading from this is that the customer would pay a community service person to link them up with the appropriate charity project, targetting a specific workout need. Money stays in the community. Charity work gets done. Targetted body part gets a good workout. Don't see what's baked about the service. (un croissant sudoroso para una gran idea, es lo que significa)
lintkeeper2, Apr 30 2003

       Bravo lintkeeper! I hadn't been able to make an understandable summary. Seems like my english is fading away. Anyways, ¡gracias por el "cuernito"! (cuernito = croissant)
Pericles, Apr 30 2003

       When I bought my first house with a large lawn I decided I'd get one of those push mowers. I figured I'd save the environment a little bit by not polluting, and I'd give my(s)elf a reason to exercise. I ended up with a long, shabby lawn due to my continuous lack of willpower. Since I bought the power mower the grass has never looked greener.   

       Point of story: none really, just I guess I'm quite lazy. Or my point was that if well implemented, this can be an excellent idea - just be carefull.
Worldgineer, Apr 30 2003

       Re-directing all that mis-spent energy from gymnasiums into some productive use is one of those great recurring themes of the 'bakery. Usually it manifests itself in the form of the 'Self-Powered Gym' but this is more unusual, interesting and far more worthy and doomed to failure. It assumes that the reason for going to the gym is to burn off energy whereas the real reason for going to the gym is to be seen going to the gym.

I live not far from a large private gym and it always saddens me to see the car park full of expensive vehicles that their owners have driven halfway across Sussex just so that they can pay money to a private sports club for spending an hour running on the spot before jumping back into their car and driving home again. These people are not interested in fitness per se and would probably recoil in horror at the suggestion of doing manual labour in order to benefit those less well off than themselves.

Footnote: If I sound bitter about this, it's because the land where the club was built was formerly a public recreation area.
DrBob, May 01 2003

       I really like this idea. Work-out would be a lot more meaningful for all parties, and feel less artificial. Although I don't think you should necessarily need to pay as a participator, since your putting in the actual work. Rather, as a benefit for putting in work you would get access to a trainer helping you reach your work-out goals in the appropriate way.
Brummo, Aug 05 2003


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