Sustainable Exercise: How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of your Workout
The Thought: The world has gone wild for wellness, but there’s an environmental cost. From equipment to clothing and accessories, have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of keeping fit? The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way, there are plenty of options to improve the sustainability of your workout, so read on for some tips.
The Feeling: Overall wellness achieved. Healthy you, healthy planet. Find out how below.
The great outdoors
Perhaps the most obvious option, is simply getting outside and using what nature has to offer. Whether that is making the most of a park, exploring a forest, climbing a mountain, or pounding the pavement, getting moving outdoors is the most sustainable exercise option. If you struggle to self-motivate, plenty of private instructors take outdoors classes, or why not give Our Parks a go? They run free outdoors exercise classes in local parks – there’s no catch, they just want to make it easy for people to get fit and healthy.
The sustainable gym
It’s not always practical to do an outdoor workout, and if you’re more of a fair-weather fitness fanatic then which gym to go for? With the bright lights, liberal air-con, and high-tech machinery gyms tend to have very high carbon footprints. But, there are some companies looking to change all that. Terra Hale, London’s first eco-friendly gym opened a few years ago, harnessing the energy created by its users workouts to power everything in the building from the lights to the music. The Cadbury House gym in Somerset operates a similar structure, as does MDL Fitness in Plymouth, and the Green Gym Group in Brighton, with more facilities likely to follow suit. Keep your eyes peeled for an energy harvesting gym near you.
Using sustainable equipment
From your water bottle to your weights, there are many much more eco-options on the market these days. When it comes to your mat, get one made with sustainable materials like natural rubber or cork. Lots of equipment like weights and resistance bands can now be found made with sustainable natural rubber these days too. And reusable water bottles are a no-brainer. Try a stainless steel alternative as this will last up to ten years, or a bottle made from renewable bamboo that can be composted when you’re done with it.
Fuelling your workout
The advice surrounding nutrition and exercise can often be overwhelming, confusing or even conflicting. Bro-chat about raw eggs, red meat and protein shakes can dominate the narrative, what does your body really need to fuel a workout healthily without engaging in planet-damaging practices? The truth is, healthy carbohydrates like wholemeal breads, rice, pasta and fruits will give you the energy you need, and protein will help you recover. So, choose sustainable options like organic and locally sourced and you’re good to go.
We have just launched our first sustainable activewear collection, made entirely from GRS Standard recycled materials. These pieces make up The Goodness Collection; breathable, comfortable, and soft to touch, they’re good for you, and good for the planet. To put it into context, about 12 plastic bottles make up a sports bra and 15 go into a pair of leggings, meaning they contribute to cleaning up some of the waste already on our planet and prevent this plastic from going into landfill. Just make sure you wash yours in a Guppy bag to prevent micro-plastics from entering the water system.
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