Green Your Workout
It’s that special time (the start of the new year) when so many of us vow to get in shape and commit to a workout routine. But did you know that your daily workout is another lifestyle area where you can make earth-friendly changes? There are countless eco-savvy ways to get in your daily dose of physical fitness. Here are some of our favorite tips for energizing your exercise with a green boost:
- Take it outside whenever you can. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home and gym exercise machines, take advantage of hiking and biking trails in your area. One big advantage to the great outdoors - it’s 100% free and always interesting! Check out the Rails-to-Trails TrailLink database to find the perfect outdoor trail in your area.
- Inspire a green makeover at your health club or gym. If the great outdoors just aren’t for you, consider encouraging your gym to make some eco-friendly upgrades. Make sure your club offers recycling bins and energy efficient machines, and remind the staff to ask patrons to limit their towel usage. Check out Mother Nature Network’s five questions to ask to uncover whether your gym is eco-friendly. Some environmentally-conscious gyms are even harnessing their patrons’ workouts to generate power!
- Car pool to your local gym with a friend or neighbor. Not only does carpooling cut down on your fuel costs and usage, but having a gym buddy is an instant incentive to keep up with your fitness goals and resolutions. For extra support, consider joining a soccer, volleyball, or kickball league in your neighborhood. No one to car pool with? Your bike is another great way to get where you’re going and warm up for your workout at the same time.
- Looking for some new workout clothing or gear? Organic cotton and bamboo threads are a great place to start for sweat-friendly green fabrics. For eco-conscious equipment choices, check the web or a local sporting goods shop for great deals on secondhand bikes and weights. For new clothing or gear, be sure to check out Gaiam and Natural Fitness Inc. Both companies are practicing some pretty innovative manufacturing techniques and are utilizing recycled rubber and materials to produce their workout goods.
- Just say no to one-time use plastic water bottles. It’s time to commit to using refillable water bottles for workouts and everyday hydration. Using a refillable bottle means less waste in landfills and more money in your wallet. How about this self-filtering, re-usable healthy-plastic model from our friends at Back to the Tap?
- Get creative with your workout routine. It’s not always easy to find time to head to the gym or commit to an after-work jogging schedule. Try to throw in an extra walk or bike ride during your lunch break for a calorie-burning boost. Another great way to supplement your gym routine: Try knocking out some house or yard work by attacking the job with gusto! Shoveling snow, raking leaves, vacuuming and dusting can be great activities for burning off a greasy business lunch or the sins of the holiday season.
- Don’t let a good workout go to waste. Put your pedal power to work by hooking up your stationary bike to a battery or generator! In no time you will be making enough energy to power common household appliances and gadgets.
- Recycle your cross-trainers. After putting in all of that extra mileage, your new shoes are bound to lose their bounce. Instead of tossing them, give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. Worn out shoes are used to build new tracks, basketball and tennis courts. New life for old shoes!