Monday, January 5, 2015

Green Your Workout

Looking to get in shape in 2015? The Climate Crusader considers how to green your workout.

Okay, okay, I know - New Year's resolutions don't really work. What sounds great on December 31 or January 1, and what you actually do all year are two very different things. That's why I love what Queen Composter had to say about Reverse Green Resolutions.

But. But. I had a very, very busy November and December, and my normal workout routine dropped off. Add in a holiday season filled with junk food and lots of sitting around, and I'm ready to make some better choices for myself. If you can relate - if you're ready to take a closer look at your health - there's nothing wrong with that. Especially if you consider how your workout impacts the planet. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your body and the planet at the same time.

Stay Hydrated

Of course, not matter how you're working your body, you need to stay hydrated. The greenest choice is to opt for a reusable water bottle filled with tap water. Stainless steel and glass are non-leaching. You can even choose a plastic-free cap if you want to be seriously green. Drinking fountains are also a green choice. If you really can't stand the taste you can filter your tap water and recycle the filter, but you may find you get used to the taste after just a couple of weeks.

Sustainable Workout Wear

If you're going to workout, you need the right gear. This isn't just consumerism, it's actually good sense. Good shoes mean the difference between a good run and injury. Good clothing keeps you warm, dry and motivated when heading outside on a cold day. But how do you opt for quality clothes that are also easy on the planet? Here's a great article about choosing more sustainable running shoes. You may be able to find second-hand workout clothes - someone else's failed resolution could be your windfall. If not, opt for natural or recycled fibers where possible. For instance, many fleece items are now made out of recycled water bottles. Ideal? Maybe not - but still better than the alternative.

Green Yoga

If you could use a workout that brings a little more zen into your life, you might want to consider yoga. One advantage is that it doesn't require a lot of gear - just a mat and some comfortable clothes. Thanks to the abundance of yoga videos online, whether free or from a subscription service, you don't even have to leave your house. You will want to be mindful of what kind of mat and accessories you choose. There are a ton of companies that market 'green' yoga gear, so it can be hard to decide which is truly sustainable and which is greenwashing. This article is a good place to start when choosing yours.

Your Daily Routine

One of the best ways to get a green workout may be to work exercise into your daily routine. For instance, walking or cycling instead of driving for short trips not only improves your fitness, it lowers your carbon footprint. In the same way, taking a nature walk on the weekend instead of strolling your local mall will reduce your consumption and improve your mental and physical health. Sometimes, we make things harder than they need to be. Your green workout doesn't have to involve a whole lot of new gear and expensive classes.

How do you green your workout?

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