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Green Fitness.

Making your fitness routine environmentally friendly can be easier than you first think!

It takes a lot of energy to heat and power a regular gym. The equipment alone is energy-hungry, and then there’s the lighting, the air-conditioning, the power to heat the showers, running machines etc.

Here are some alternative and greener ways to keep fit and in trim.

  • Exercise with nature - It is pretty obvious, but why be stuck indoors when you can get fit in the great outdoors? This is the easiest way to make your workout more environmentally friendly and it will save you the cost of a gym session too. Plus, you’ll also have lots of fun getting to know your local environment and your community.
  • Join in with the community - Why not spend a weekend once a month helping clear nature trails, disused railway tracks, canal towpaths etc making them a more inviting place to walk, jog, cycle. A great way to exercise with nature and improve your environment.
  • Consider riding your bike or walking to the gym or even work - If you can’t give up your gym habit, try reducing your carbon footprint by leaving the car at home. And, by cycling or walking to the gym you can work out less when you get there.
  • Recycle your worn out trainers - Nike’s reuse-a-shoe initiative repurposes old athletic shoes of any brand. You just need to take your trainers to the nearest drop-off location, where they are shipped to one of their processing facilities to be ground up into a material called Nike Grind. Nike Grind is used to make basketball courts, tennis courts and running tracks in communities around the world.
  • Get gardening - Weeding, pruning, planting and raking – any keen gardener will tell you how much effort goes into keeping a garden tidy. Plus you’ll find it satisfying and rewarding fun. You could even try growing your own vegetables to make your diet truly local, as food miles are reduced to the length of your garden.

Dress the part.

Athletic clothing

Eco-friendly exercise starts with environmentally friendly workout gear. Because of the way that conventional cotton is grown and treated, workout clothes made from eco-friendly fibres, like hemp or organic cotton, can improve the environmental impact of your workout. Remember, an estimated one-third-pound of agricultural chemicals are used to produce a single cotton T-shirt. Thus, a 100 percent cotton T-shirt is actually comprised of 73 percent cotton—the remaining 27 percent is made up of chemicals and chemical residues. The chemicals used to treat conventional cotton can harm beneficial insects and soil microorganisms, pollute water, and adversely affect wildlife. The farming of conventional cotton is also water-intensive. Approximately 400 gallons of water are required to produce a single cotton T-shirt.

Some athletic clothing is also treated with bug, odour, and/or stain resistant chemicals. Gore-Tex, Teflon, and other chemicals designed to repel water and dirt can break down into harmful perfluorochemicals (PFCs), such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Insecticides used on outdoor workout clothes may contain permethrin, which can be absorbed by the skin when the wearer sweats and is particularly toxic to aquatic life—harming amphibians, and killing crustaceans, rainbow trout, salmon, etc. Some products that have received anti-bacterial treatments containing triclosan also pose health risks to the person wearing it.

Refillable water bottles

Even what you drink can green your workout. Waste prevention (reducing plastics use by refilling bottles instead of buying new ones) avoids the greater energy required for plastic production, as well as greenhouse gas emissions from incineration and landfill gases. And the fewer plastic water bottles that are thrown away, the less landfill waste is created.