From sipping drinks from metal straws to composting scraps while cooking, taking steps to create less waste and care more for the environment is a priority for many of us. If you’re looking to improve in areas beyond beverages and the kitchen, consider these tips for ‘green-ing’ your workout routine.
How to Go Green in Your Exercise Routine
Rethink your gear
One way to go green with gear is to use less of it. Exercise at home with minimal equipment when possible. When you do need equipment, consider buying it used. And reduce, reuse and recycle by donating that old treadmill when you’re not using anymore!
While you’re improving your body and mind with your yoga workout, you can also help the environment. Choose an eco-friendly yoga mat and towel. Keep them clean, and invigorate your practice by incorportaing essential oils.
Be eco fashion friendly
When selecting your workout wardrobe, choose brands that emphasize sustainability. Search for “eco-friendly workout clothes” online. The number of environmentally focused companies might surprise you. Did you know that Nike uses recycled shoes to make playground materials? Or that Reebox makes sneakers from recycled plastic? Athletic apparel companies Prana and Athleta both have sustainability programs. This is a small sample of manufacturers that are changing how they produce their products.
Another option is to look for workout clothes at consignment or thrift shops. It’s possible to find barely used or even new clothes (and shoes!) at these stores, at a fraction of the price. When your workout wear has outlived its usefulness, donate it rather than tossing it.
Skip the plastic
Choose reusable water bottles instead of single-use plastic water bottles. You’ll save the Earth from harm, and you’ll save money by not buying bottled water every time you work out.
Take your workout outside
Taking your workout outdoors offers benefits beyond the exercise itself. It can relieve stress and boost your mood. It’s convenient because your workout can start the minute you step outside your door. It’s also a chance to connect with your community or escape and connect with Mother Nature. So get out and go for a walk, run, ride your bike, hike or find a fitness class in the park. A daily dose of vitamin D, will do you a lot of good (that said, don’t forget the sunscreen).
Walk or bike to the gym
If you can’t or don’t want to exercise outside, you can make eco-friendly choices when you head to the gym. By walking or biking when possible, you’ll save gas and burn even more calories. When you get there, choose routines that don’t require electric machines (such as treadmills). Use your muscle power with free weights or weight machines, or give a fitness classes a try.
Some gyms are putting an eco-friendly foot forward by going green. These gyms use LED or solar lights, recyclable materials and eco-friendly equipment. These treadmills, bikes and other exercise machines send some of the user-generated energy to help power the building. Now that’s a sustainable workout!
Going green with your fitness routine is a great way to help the environment. Using these suggestions, you can whittle your waistline and your carbon footprint with the same workout. That’s what we call a win-win!