With Earth Day just a week away, now is a great time to think about changes you can make to help the environment. Seemingly little steps, like bringing reusable bags to the supermarket or turning off lights when you leave a room, can have a big impact when many people take them together! If exercise is a part of your everyday life, here are some things you might do differently to conserve resources and help protect the planet.
1. Take your workout outdoors
Why waste power running on a treadmill when you can head outdoors for the same exercise? When the weather allows, take your cardio routine—whether it’s running, biking, swimming or even jumping rope—outside to save electricity, get some fresh air and soak up the sunshine.
2. Walk, run or bike to the gym
Is your gym close to home? If so, make the “ride” there part of your workout (if it’s far enough away, your cardio for the day might be complete, letting you focus solely on weight training while you’re there). If not, try carpooling with a workout partner. You’ll not only have the benefit of a shared ride, but you can work out together and have fun.
3. Exercise at home
Skip the drive to the gym altogether and work out at home instead. Many workouts, from weight training and aerobics to yoga and Pilates, require nothing more than a mat and enough room to lunge or squat. Look for at-home routines online, or try an exercise video such as Gaiam Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss.
4. Choose “green” gear
Exercise often requires gear. But you don’t have to buy everything new thing that comes out—and you certainly don’t have to buy everything new. Check the Internet or your local sporting goods store for deals on used bikes, weights and other equipment. Look around your home for items you can use in workouts. Water-filled jugs make great weights. A dining room chair or a crate can be used for leg lifts, dips or stretching.
5. Drink water from a reusable bottle
Bottled water may be convenient, but it isn’t a necessity. Instead of buying—and throwing away—hundreds of new plastic bottles every year, get yourself a quality refillable bottle such as the Camelbak Podium Chill. The same goes for protein drinks. Instead of buying a ready-to-drink shake, make your own in a reusable Blender Bottle with protein powder.
NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.