Ever since you decided to turn your life around and embrace health and fitness, you have visited your local gym so frequently that you are on a first-name basis with every teacher, trainer, and receptionist at the facility. Not only that, but you could swear that the checkers at your grocery store look at you differently now that you enter their check-stands armed with produce galore instead of your usual standbys of frozen pizza, beer, and ho-hos. But lately you’ve begun to consider the impact your fitness routine is having on the environment. As you work to improve the health and well-being of your body and mind, you’re spirit has begun to pipe up that perhaps you should be doing a bit more to support the planet that supports you. And to that end, you have decided to make some changes in your fitness routine to ensure that the benefits you are reaping are returned to the terra firma. Now if only you knew where to start!
1. Ditch the gym. Sure you love the machines that allow you to get your cardio in 30-minute segments and tell you your distance, calories burned, and heart rate, but think about how much energy those things are sucking up when they’re in use around the clock (not to mention lighting and air conditioning for the facility). So quit your gym (not only good for the environment, but it will also save you on monthly dues) and hit the road for the exercise you crave.
2. Turn off. If you leave your gym only to pop a workout DVD into your PS3 and flip on your 60-inch plasma, you’re really not saving that much energy. Opt instead for an at-home machine that requires no electricity or a gym facility stocked with machines that turn your kinetic energy into power. RevRev makes an elliptical machine that returns 50 watts of power to the grid for every half hour you work out, so you’re not only burning calories, but giving back enough green energy to power your cell (times six) or run your laptop for an hour. Check their website for locations.
3. Party like it’s 1751. Before the birth of electricity, people had to find other methods of staying physically fit. And while they may not have had Pilates, kettlebell training, or calisthenics to help them out, they did have a wide variety of sports to pass the time. So join a tennis league, take horseback-riding lessons (great for your core and lower body), or flex it up with some yoga.
4. Love your veggies. Eating less meat is just better for you, but did you know it’s also better for the planet? Feed lots are blight upon society. They use cruel and unusual practices in growing the meat that makes its way to our freezer (not to mention all the toxic waste that seeps into the groundwater in and around these heinous facilities). So take a step towards stopping this practice by instituting other forms of protein in your diet (beans, some whole grains) and opting for free-range meats when you do consume animal products.
5. Go organic. Your newfound love of veggies probably doesn’t include an appetite for pollution. Not only are harmful pesticides and fertilizers damaging the soil and affecting wild animals, plants, and insects, trace amounts of these toxins are also making their way into your body to be stored in fat deposits. So keep them out of your diet and cast your vote in favor of organics that are better for you and Mother Earth.
Kyle Simpson writes for a self defense website where you can find information a variety of training methods and techniques