The benefits of exercising are abundant–improved cardiovascular health, insulin resistance, self-esteem, body image, and more. But have you every thought about switching up your workout to incorporate activities that are better for the environment? If you’re interested in reducing your carbon impact while getting your sweat on, here are some tips to get you started.
Take your workout outside. Being outdoors has been shown to improve mood, reduce blood pressure, and reduce anxiety, which exercise has been shown to do as well. So why not combine them?
- Skip the treadmill or elliptical and go for a run or walk outside.
- Reduce the carbon emitted when driving to the gym by walking, running, or taking public transportation.
- Many parks now have outdoor equipment for calisthenics exercises (a.k.a. body weight resistance training), which also helps build a sense of community.
- Interested in hot yoga? Look for a rooftop class during the warmer months.
- Do you normally drive to work? Maybe it’s time to fit some exercise into your commute by biking or walking instead. Get your heart rate up AND minimize your carbon impact.
- Plogging–jogging while picking up plastic and other garbage–began as an activity in Sweden to bring awareness to plastic pollution, but its popularity has spread to the United States and is now popular in major cities.
- Check our your local organizations or social media for groups that you can jog with while cleaning up the streets. Not yet a thing near you? Initiate this in your community!
Choose sustainable workout gear.
- The fashion industry can be full of unsustainable materials, practices, and unfair wages.
- Sustainable clothing, according to the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, includes “brands that commit to minimizing their environmental impact and supporting human rights and fair labor.” These companies use plastic-free packaging, provide fair wages to workers, and use sustainably sourced fabrics.
- Skip the fast fashion and opt for pieces with longevity but that also benefit the planet. Some brands committed to sustainable workout gear are Patagonia, Together California, and Threads 4 Thought.
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