Making Your Workout Environmentally Friendly

Making Your Workout Environmentally Friendly

by: Lisa Ritchie

Environmentally FriendlyYou’ve been exercising on a regular basis and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. However, did you realize that your workout could be revised to improve not only your health but the environment as well?  Here are several ideas that benefit not just your own health, but the health of the planet, too!

1. Use recyclable or reuseable water bottles. Plastic bottles are generally not recycled – so pick up a reusable bottle for your workouts, preferably a metal one. Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics has raised concerns because it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen, interfering with hormone levels and cell signaling systems, in addition to being a possible cancer risk.

2. Donate your used sneakers. When your “kicks” are looking tired and lack the tread or cushioning you need, donate them. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe recycles athletic shoes into surfaces for tracks, playgrounds, outdoor basketball and tennis courts.

3. Walk or bike to work if possible, or do your errands on foot or bike. It definitely beats sitting in traffic or on a crowded train! If your destination is too far, try to at least rely on public transportation or carpool. The American Public Transportation Association recently reported that those who take mass transit live longer, drive less and are healthier than those who are auto dependent because they walk more which increases fitness levels. An individual switching to public transit also can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds a day.

4. Take your workouts outside. A gym membership can be a blessing in extreme climates, but they are also a big energy drain. When you can, always try to take your workout outside. You'll save wear and tear on the exercise equipment and reduce energy costs as well. Using pedal power  outdoors can be a lot more fun than staring at a television while riding your stationary bike.

5. Another idea is to buy used equipment. If you’re trying out a new sport for the first time, start out with borrowed, used, or refurbished equipment. Check classified ads, garage sales, retailers, and the internet or specialty shops that stock both new and used goods. The exception: safety equipment.

Helmets, pads, and other protective gear should be in good condition and the right size for the person using them. Plus used equipment usually costs significantly less than new.

6. If weather forces you indoors, exercise to a fitness DVD. Check out some of the great DVD’s available right here at Alkaline Lifestyle in our Co-Op store!

7. Buy eco-friendly clothes from eco-friendly stores. A little bit of research on the internet can reveal the environmental policy of many companies. Gaiam makes stylish and comfortable gear that contains a high percentage of recycled, rapidly renewable and/or natural organic fibers. Many companies also take an active role in supporting programs aimed at protecting the outdoors.

8. Buy green fitness products. If you’re into yoga look for a yoga mat that doesn’t contain harmful phalates (plasticizers). You can find phthalate-free, eco-friendly mats in our co-op store! Look for towels made from bamboo, organic cotton and hemp that don’t require the use of harmful pesticides and are made from sustainable fibers.


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These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

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