Green Your Workout

It’s hard to believe that something as organic and good for you as working out could have any negative impact whatsoever. But when you add up the great amount of energy it takes to operate a gym, transportation, dirty clothes you have to constantly wash, new gear and a slew of other factors it’s clear  it’s time to reconsider ways to make your workout method eco- friendly. Here are a few ways you can burn calories, release endorphins and still respect Mother Nature:

Be a homebody
Instead of going to the gym give yourself the freedom of working out whenever you want at home. Bodyweight exercises are challenging and if they ever get easy you can always increase the number of repetitions you do.
Here are some exercises that are easy to do to warm up:

  • Jumping jax
  •  Jump rope
  • Knee- highs
  • Butt- kicks

Some great body- bearing exercises include:

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Chair dips
  • Crunches
  • Burpees
  • Lunges
  • Planks

Get in touch with nature
Before the use of gyms, people had no problem utilizing the great outdoors for some exercise. Running, biking, walking, snow shoeing and hiking outside are all green- friendly ways to feel refreshed and energized while enjoying some fresh air. By riding your bike to work you’ll turn your daily commute into functional exercise. With a little bit of creativity, you can set up a killer- obstacle course in a nearby park, using trees and pinecones as markers. You can also use found items like a park bench to do lunges and dips or monkey bars to do pull-ups.

Be a Yogi
Studio classes like yoga or pilaties require a lot less energy to run than a gym. After a few classes you might be able to do yoga at home through a workout DVD or NetFlix. Many exercise mats are made out of PVC, a very toxic plastic and known carcinogen so make sure you are using yoga gear that is environmentally friendly. So make sure you invest in an organic yoga mat that is made out of organic cotton, jute, hemp or natural rubber. Recycle your yoga mat after it has reached its time.

Embrace Green Skin Products
Use eco- friendly products like organic deodorant and face wash before and after your workout. There are many brands of organic deodorant and face wash that are free of chemicals, parabans and aluminum.

Be Eco- Fashionable
Buying eco- friendly work out clothes will reduce your carbon imprint in addition to looking and feeling good. There are three main things to consider about how sustainable clothes are:
The renewability and source of fiber used and material’s carbon footprint
Process of turning raw fiber into a textile
Working condition of people producing material

Here are a few popular sustainable materials that make good workout clothes:

  • Organic cotton
  • Jute
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Cocona (coconut)
  • Soy
  • Wood Pulp and Seaweed

For more ideas about Green- friendly workout clothes, read, 7 Surprising High Tech Exercise Fabrics.  Workout clothes don’t need to be washed every time you work out, unless you’re doing hot yoga or running in 90- degree weather. By air- drying your work-out clothes and wearing them a few times before you wash them, you will save you energy and water by not using your washing machine (not to mention money on your bills).

Homemade Granola Bars
Store bought protein bars are packed with preservatives and unnatural foods. This recipe from Mother Nature News seems to have the right combination of sweet and nutritional ingredients; Homemade Granola Bars.

The hidden benefit of making your workout routine greener is that you will also save money by nixing your gym membership and your commute to the gym. Another way you can save money in the long run is by investing in high- quality clothing that you love and will last so you’re not constantly dumping off bags of raggedy tee- shirts off at the thrift store.  Re- useable water bottles are also an absolute must wherever you go to get a workout. What other ways have you come up to make your workout methods eco- friendly?

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