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Greenercising

Did you know that 1500 watts of power is consumed by the average treadmill?

Did you know that 0.75 kilowatt-hours of energy is used during 30 minutes on the treadmill?

Did you know you could light a Christmas tree for 6 hours with 0.75 kilowatts-hours?

Did you know that 2 pounds of CO2 is given off during the 30 minute workout on the treadmill?

I never really put too much thought into how I was impacting the environment during my working outs. I add green to every other part of my life- I am not sure why I never thought to green up my workouts.

Here are 10 ways to make working out a little more green:

  1. Skip the gym and stay home. You can get a great workout without all the fancy equipment and an added bonus is you are not limited to just your home. There are many different weight training, yoga and cardio routines that require a simple mat and some room to move around. Think about it; it can same you time, and money to stay home.
  2. Make the gym a green experience. I know it may not be realistic to workout at home, so why not try to green your workout at the gym. Bring your own water bottle, and healthy organic snacks. Try using only one towel and if you feel like jumping on the treadmill set it at a high incline as to use less energy. Ask to turn the lights off if it is bright enough without them and turn the TV off if no one is watching! Try walking or biking to the gym instead of driving.
  3. Enjoy the outdoors. Why not lace up a pair of running shoes and hit the pavement or trails for a nice walk, hike or run? There is nothing more green than spending time outside and breathing in the wonderful fresh air and enjoying the scenery. You can even do some some interval training like lunges, squats, push-ups or hit your local park and play around on the monkey bars and park benches for a nice “this is what it feels like to be a kid again” workout! You would be surprised how good of a workout you can get with a park bench and some sand filled juice jugs!
  4. Wear green. Everyone feels better and ready to tackle working out with a new outfit, but this doesn’t mean it has to hurt the environment. Trying buy clothing made from organic and/or recycled materials, but if the price tag is too hefty, second hand could always be an option. You might find some great finds at a thrift store. There are many companies such as Patagonia that offer running shoes made with recycled materials and truly try to make a difference with their sustainable practices.
  5. Eco-friendly gear. You obviously need a bicycle to bike, and a yoga mat for yoga. There are many green options available; you just might have to look a little harder. PVC-free yoga mats are a great option and buying second-hand will lessen your impact on the environment. There are many websites that sell used exercise equipment such as bikes, and weights.
  6. Fuel your body with fresh organic foods and skip the refined sugars. Making your own protein bars or trail mix and shakes is much cheaper and an easy way to add healthy organic foods to your workout routine without the large price tag attached. Skip the processed food aisle and shop wisely.
  7. Bring your own bottle. Millions of plastic water bottles are disposed of in landfills every year. There is no need to buy a new bottle every time you workout. Just have yours ready to be refilled at the gym or at home.
  8. Wash your towels less often. After we workout we all usually just jump in the shower. Instead of washing your exercise towel after every workout, try to limit it to after every 3rd, and just imagine all the water you will conserve. This includes your workout clothing, too!
  9. Turn off the AC at home. Ever heard of “hot yoga?” Instead, try “hot lunges or squats.” By turning off the AC you will sweat lots more to loose those extra pounds and save some energy in the process. It really is win win for you and the environment.
  10. Inspire others to make green changes. Talk to others about your green initiatives for working out. If you decide going to the gym is your thing, speak with the gym manager about investing in energy efficient machines and lights, offering recycling bins for water bottles (even go to the next step and stop selling them altogether), turning off the TV’s when no one is watching and even turn off the lights when its bright enough.

Before getting on that treadmill, think about changing up your routine by going for a walk or jog outside and see how much more refreshed you feel and how good you feel for helping the environment in the process. Every bit does help!

What will you do to green up your workouts?

Update: Reduce Footprints challenge for the week of February 8-14, 2012: unplug your exercise routine by trying to use no power. Make your workout Eco-friendly.

Source: TreeHugger

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. This is awesome. Very good ideas and great reasons for all of them. I take my own water to the gym. I recycle my towels. Body towel become the bathmat the next day at the gym. 2 uses per towel.

    We play outside a lot.

    You are doing a wonderful job, keep it up.

  2. If you are spending your time at the gym on a cardio machine for sure change it up to something greener. You can get bikes that generate electricity and connect to your tv so you have to burn calories to watch a show.

    Strength training tho

    The benefits of increasing your strength at a gym. (with the right training that is) is that it allows you to load your functional movement. something that you can not do at home if you 1) dont have the right equipment (sorry dumbbells wont do) and 2) or the know how

    loading functional mvmt leads to increased bone density, improved heart health, increased muscle mass and increased metabolism. Which all means less time sick, in the hospital and on medications.

    great Ideas steph, thanks!

    • Thanks Nell! I realize for some going to the gym is important and a necessity. I was just outlining other options for people that don’t do the gym think, I personally prefer working out at home! Glad you liked my ideas!!!! 🙂

  3. hey! thanks for stopping by, following you back now! 🙂

    you have a real meaningful thing going on here! thanks for sharing all these facts!
    can’t wait to check out the rest of the blog!

    have a great weekend! 🙂

  4. Wow … I’ve heard some people say that in the whole scheme of things, the amount of energy used on an electric treadmill is small. But after reading the information here, I see that even one treadmill (let alone all the ones being used around the world) uses a significant amount of electricity. It’s yet another example of how our small actions add up. Thank you for all of your suggestions … I really like that you’ve taken it a step further and included tips on our clothing, workout location, etc. My favorite tip (and the one I use most often) is #3 … I love being outdoors. There’s just something so peaceful about it … it encourages me to move more. 🙂

  5. Hey Steph!
    That is a great post.
    Did you know that Newton shoes also offert green features? The last pair I bought wer made of 100% recycled laces, webbing, insole top cover; 100% recycled PET upper mesh; 100% recycled box (packaging); 10% recycled outersole rubber.
    Also, MEC offers all kinds of products made either in Canada or from recycled material.
    That was my little bit. 🙂
    MG

  6. Dang..I didn’t know a treadmill used that much energy! So glad that I only use it on rain/snow days when I’m scheduled for a long run. I admit I go to the gym to use free weights, instead of using mine at home most of the time, but that’s because I double-up and swim the same day. haha! If I don’t plan on swimming..I stick home and do it all there.

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