Exercise is a daily habit for many of us whether we run, walk, lift weights, bike, hike, or participate in other fitness activities. Staying active is a great way to help our health, but can have significant impacts on our earth as well. If you’re looking for some easy ways to green up your fitness routine, check out these tips:
- Exercise Outdoors – use natural spaces around town for walking, jogging, and hiking! You can also consider walking or biking to the gym if it’s close enough. Spending time outdoors allows you to connect with nature, absorb some vitamin D, and avoid the energy and waste expenses associated with gyms.
- Purchase Eco-Friendly Workout Clothes – this tip is a bit more on the pricier side, but if you want high-quality and eco-friendly workout attire, then it is definitely worth the investment. Typical workout clothes can be made of synthetic fibers that shed off as microplastics during the washing process. Consider searching for clothes made of natural materials, like bamboo or recycled content. It also might be helpful to visit thrift stores to snag some workout gear at a lower cost.
- Retire Old Gear Responsibly – donating your unwanted clothes or exercise equipment to local thrift stores, will allow you to give them a new life. Other stores, like REI, offer programs for members to trade in their used gear and equipment.
- Combine Your Workout with Your Commute- kill two birds with one stone by getting your exercise on your way to work! Biking, taking the bus, walking, or even running to the office can help you squeeze a workout into your busy schedule and lower your carbon footprint.
- Opt for a Reusable Water Bottle - making this simple switch can help to keep lots of excess plastic out of the landfills. You can find reusable water bottles at most stores. You can purchase one that you really like so you’ll be more likely to use it, rather than reaching for that regular plastic bottle.
We’re all looking for ways to make simple, yet sustainable changes to our daily lives. Starting with your fitness routine can be an easy way for you to do so. Not only will you be benefiting your own health and wellness, but the Earth’s too!
Emily Dennis is the Zero-Waste Lead at Walking Mountains Science Center