With the beginning of the New Year comes a whole bunch of healthy New Year’s Resolutions. While getting more exercise is great for our health, it can take quite a toll on our planet. Looking for simple ways to make your workout eco friendly? There are many ways to green up your exercise routine so that it is good for both you and the environment. Join the zero waste fitness trend and get in shape with a smaller carbon footprint!
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Green exercise vs sustainable workout tips
There is a very large and active green exercise movement taking place right now. Green exercise refers to fitness routines that take place in nature (outdoor obstacle courses, anyone?) . Those are high on my list of fun ways to work out, however, it isn’t always feasible. Bad weather, city living, and being the parent of small children sometimes make working out in nature difficult.
Interested in more fitness tips? Check out these posts, too:
- How to Wash Workout Clothes and Ditch the Stink If you work out regularly, you need to learn how to wash workout clothes properly if you want to keep them smelling fresh.
- Easy Workout Tips and Nutrition Advice to Fit into a Daily Workout. Working out without the proper nutrition is not a good idea.
- Gingersnap Energy Bar Recipe to Fuel Your Workout. This homemade energy bar packs a whole bunch of protein and carbs into one very tasty little morsel.
What I am sharing here are eco friendly workout tips that you can take anywhere, from forest to fitness center. A green exercise routine refers to not only WHERE you work out, but the choices you make before you go.
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Tips for a Green Exercise Routine
There are ways you can create an eco-friendly exercise program without too much effort or money. Making a few small changes to your workout routine can make a big difference for the planet in the long run. This month, as you strive to get back in shape, take a minute to think about the impact of your fitness routine on the environment.
Exercise at home
Instead of spending big bucks on a membership to a gym that you will have to drive to, consider what you can do right at home to get in shape. Running, walking and biking can be enjoyed right in the neighborhood. Exercise videos, yoga, treadmills and free weights can also be used in the comfort of your own home, with no gasoline required! Want a truly green exercise routine? Save money and work out at home! Or, you should look for a gym close to home that you can walk to.
Recycle your sneakers
My husband is an avid runner and he goes through several pairs of sneakers every year. Don’t throw out your used shoes! Find a recycling program like Soles for Souls or the Nike Reuse a Shoe program that either donates them to the needy or recycles them into playground surfaces. Tossing several pairs of sneakers in the trash every year does NOT make for a green exercise routine!
Consider alternative clothing material
There are many clothing companies that are making exercise gear from more eco-friendly materials like hemp, bamboo, or organically grown cotton. Buying workout clothes made with these materials goes a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint while you work out. If you love swimming, check out my post about sustainable bathing suits. Organic workout clothing is becoming much more popular and easy to find, even at traditional big box stores.
Choose an organic supplement
Working out requires some serious amounts of nutrition! Following up a hard workout with a protein bar can help speed up your muscles ability to recover. Grabbing a smoothie full of nutrients before a run can give you a little bit more energy to get up that next hill. Purchase organic protein powder and supplements to feed your workout. They are better for the environment and better for your body as well!
Use natural deodorant before you exercise
It wouldn’t be a good workout without a little bit of sweat, right? Try a natural, mineral-based deodorant to help keep you smelling fresh. You can find many options that are made of only plant-based materials. You can also choose natural soaps, organic shampoos and many other natural body care products that are better for you and the planet.
A green exercise routine needs eco friendly workout gear!
From recycled yoga mats to stainless steel water bottles, there are a ton of upcycled, reusable, and eco friendly workout products on the market. You might have to pay a little bit more than some of the cheap alternatives, but they are infinitely better for the environment in the long run.
Rethink your workouts
There are dozens of different workout routines that get you in shape. Check out my hiking tips and hit the trail with your kids. Try trail running, or start running in your neighborhood. Driving to an expensive gym is not necessary to get in shape.
Make your workout as green and environmentally-
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.