Make a resolution to work out more? Want to get healthy this spring? Here are some easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of your new exercise routine.
- Green is the new black: Need some lovely new sustainable workout duds to supplement your old event or company tshirts? Here are some ideas for better-sourced gear – and guess what? You can even score deals on some at your favorite TJ Maxx-type retailer.
- Cleaner, greener: Do you have to wash your gear after Every. Single. Workout? Maybe not – use discretion! That said, when the time comes – which is now, if it’s after a great run or Bikram class – there are vinegar-y and low-temp laundry tips to keep your gear funk-free.
- Workout at home: Gym membership bills getting you down? The good news is that if you have a floor, a wall and a chair then, congratulations, you have a gym! Better yet, you won’t require a fleet of electricity-guzzling treadmills and televisions to get fit. High-intensity workouts that depend simply on weight-bearing exercises aren’t just energy-efficient, they can also be completed in less than 10 minutes. Win-win!
- …Or, go outside! Reduce your environmental impact while you burn calories by exercising outdoors. Hills, turns and uneven surfaces will help you work more muscle groups than you would using cardio equipment at the gym. Looking for a low impact workout? Grab a towel and some free weights and head outside to make your preferred workout routine more sustainable.
- Commute on foot: If you normally drive to the gym, save money and get a good warm up in by strapping on your running shoes and jogging to the gym. Whether you run 20 meters or 20 miles, those shoes will eventually wear out. Give them a new life by donating or recycling them.
- Get a reusable water bottle: You have to stay hydrated while working out, but how you do it counts. Instead of buying plastic water bottles or using the gym’s disposable cups that just go straight to the landfill, why not just grab your choice of reusable bottle? Fill up with tasty tap water and drink. Repeat as necessary.
- Refuel with sustainable foods: You don't need to eat processed foods like protein bars or high calorie sports drinks to refuel after your workout. Head to the farmers’ market to get the nutrients your body needs. In addition, buying food that’s produced sustainably without chemical fertilizers or pesticides means you’re doing your part to reduce harmful toxins in the environment. Eat fair trade bananas for muscle cramps, organic sweet potatoes to help restore depleted glycogen levels and pasture-raised eggs to help with muscle growth and recovery.
- Use plant based nutrition supplements: Need a protein boost? Try using an organic hemp protein powder in your morning smoothies. It gives you a long-lasting shot of protein that has a nice, nutty flavor, blends well with fruits and nuts, and is completely plant-based, so it has a lower water footprint than animal-based protein powder.