Living Sustainably Through Your Workout Routine

When you think of living a more sustainable lifestyle, often things like renewable energy or recycling may come to mind. But have you ever thought about greening your health and fitness routine?

Making small changes to your fitness routine can have a huge impact on improving your health and the health of the environment. To implement sustainability into your next workout session, consider these few tips that will keep you and our planet in the best shape.


Skip the Gym & Exercise Outdoors

The environment that you decide to exercise in can have different effects on your workout quality and your mental and physical health. Being in a natural environment while exercising holds many benefits while also being better for the planet. Exercising outdoors is also known as green exercise. With the combination of fresh air and sunlight, you tend to be more positive, release tension in your body, and obtain more energy. Overall, it just makes you happier and inclined to continue working out. 

Being outdoors also creates a more strenuous and longer workout that challenges your body in a way that an indoor workout can’t. For example, getting out to run gives more energy than if you were on a treadmill and riding your bike outdoors rather than cycling indoors can burn more calories. If you are running on an incline, encountering bumps, holes, or other obstacles you will adapt to those surroundings and push your body to work harder to get through. 

Exercising outdoors will have you forgetting where the time went and you’ll realize you have worked out 30 minutes more than you would have if exercising inside. Whether you are running, walking, hiking, or biking, you are getting exposure to the sun which means more vitamin D for your body, which promotes strong bone growth. Direct sunlight will also allow your brain to release higher levels of serotonin. 

The warm weather is calling your name, it’s waiting on you to improve your self-esteem and relieve stress by being outdoors rather than in an indoor facility with a climate-controlled environment. Being out in nature can also lower your blood pressure and help you prioritize your physical health. 

Another bonus about exercising outdoors is that it is free. You don’t need a membership to walk, run, bike, or do any other activity, all you need to do is step out the door and go. Plus, gyms and indoor facilities are a huge threat to the environment alone. It is the home of numerous vending machines that carry many products that are packaged in plastic. They also are filled with workout equipment that relies on tons of power and electricity throughout the day. By using the equipment less you are reducing your carbon footprint. 

Making the change to exercise outdoors allows you to breathe fresh air and protect your lungs from pollutants and germs that can often be found indoors—especially in gyms. Every day doesn’t have to be outside, but mixing it into your workout routine will allow you to reap all benefits and make the world a healthier place. 

Forget commuting to the gym and remember to make the most of what’s around you. check out those parks, beaches, or hiking trails in your area to get a good workout instead of having to wait around for energy-consuming machinery. 

A New Sustainable Workout Routine: Try Plogging

When it comes to having a balanced and healthy sustainable lifestyle, this eco-friendly sport is certainly worth your attention. Plogging is a term that refers to jogging while picking up trash along the way. Since plogging is a fairly new trend, here’s everything you need to know before going out on your plgogging journey. 

  • There is no set number when it comes to plogging. Just like many other exercising activities, this can be done alone, but it is more fun to plog in a group. Whether that is with your community, coworkers, friends, or even a furry friend. 
  • While you know the main idea of plogging is jogging and getting trash, try adding in some other workout moves. If you are going down to pick up some trash, why not try squatting when picking it up or bending on one leg. Implementing other exercise moves during your plogging workout will strengthen your muscles and endurance. 
  • Constantly carrying a bag while exercising is a workout itself. To avoid one side getting strains in your arms and hands, alternate which arm is carrying the trash bag
  • Yes, picking up trash is a great initiative for the planet but it’s not always the cleanest. You want to be sure to use gloves while picking up unsanitary items to keep your hands clean and protected. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, you don’t just have to jog while plogging. Add sprints to your jogging or even bring it down to a 15-minute walk. Changing up your speed, climbing, or jumping will intensify the sessions and improve your cardiovascular performance. 
  • Just when you thought plogging couldn’t get any more fun, how about adding some competition. If you decide to plog with a group, split into teams and see who can pick up the most litter by a certain amount of time. 
  • Jogging might not be for everyone, and that’s okay. Try adding in another sport like walking or cycling to maintain your health and the environment’s health. 

This is another cost-effective, eco-friendly workout that doesn’t require classes or equipment—just you, a bag, and your desire to help the planet. 

Invest in Sustainable Activewear

adidas-green-footprintWhile making small changes to your fitness routine can greatly impact your health and the environment, it doesn’t just stop there. You also want to be sure that your clothes are ethically made and you are wearing eco-friendly shoes

Shoes that pass the eco-friendly test are made from recycled or reused material to reduce your overall footprint. For example, shoes with natural soles are made of biodegradable materials, whereas a shoe made of synthetic rubber can take up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill. 

Activewear is made of great materials like polyester and spandex, but they are not biodegradable. Lucky for you there are several of brands that specialize in activewear, made of sustainable fibers, that keep your body cool and dry while working out. 

Creating a greener lifestyle does not have to be drastic. Check out this neat infographic for more ways to make your health and fitness regimen more eco-friendly. 

Leave a Comment