Thursday 18 April 2019

Get fit, go green

Getting fit is good for your body but is it good for the environment? Going out for a run may seem a simple task but once you look into the clothes you wear, the food you eat on the go and where you exercise, your fitness regime may not be that healthy for the planet. What can you do that makes getting fit good for you and the environment?

Turn your workout into a litter pick. While you are out and about pick up any bits of rubbish you may see. This is particularly well-suited to people who prefer a gentle jog or walk. You could also organise community events to bring people together and make a bigger impact.

Fitness regimes require specialist clothing but most of what you will find in the shops is made of man-made fibres. If you want to go a bit more natural in your choice of clothing then search out bamboo running clothes. They are naturally anti-bacterial and breathable making they the perfect choice for fitness routines. Alternatively look for companies such as Patagonia who take their corporate responsibility to the environment very seriously. They believe in making good quality clothing that will last years and can be repaired if necessary.

Get fit outdoors rather than in a gym. Look around a gym and you will see that they are full of strip lighting, air conditioning units and lots of equipment that requires electricity. Look for park gyms which have a range of free equipment that you can use. For something a bit different look to see if there is a Green Gym near you. Run by the charity, The Conservation Volunteers, as well as exercising you'll get involved with projects such as planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds.

Swap your gym session for your daily commute. Whether you run or walk you can try ditching the car. Sitting in traffic is particularly bad for both you and the environment. While you're there carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene and soot can all be seeping into your car. As you are sitting in a confined metal box there's very little scope for all those chemicals to disperse.

Whenever you're out and about make you take your reusable water bottle with you. There are more and more places that now offer free water so there should be no excuse to buy a disposable plastic bottle.

Eating right is all part of a good fitness regime but it's very easy to get seduced by commercial products and all their claims. Energy gels are popular amongst cyclists and long distance runners but each one comes in a little plastic packet. Often these are thrown straight to the floor. Try bananas, dried fruit or rice cakes instead. Rather than opting for processed foods choose more locally grown and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Is your fitness routine good for the environment? Do you need to get it back on track?

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