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October 2019

4 Ways to Improve Your Workout and the Environment at the Same Time

The environment is probably the last thing on your mind while hitting the treadmill. But you can make a difference—even with your workout. Making small changes to your exercise routine can help you get a better workout while going green at the same time. It’s a win-win.

Volunteer crew outdoors, picking up trash

As if the endorphins weren’t enough, these changes will leave you feeling even better post sweat session.

Get outside

Take your workout outdoors—and help keep it clean at the same time. Volunteer for park or beach cleanups in your area. You’ll get your body moving in ways that may be different from your typical workout routine, spend time outdoors, and help the environment. You can find park cleanup programs and Adopt-A-Beach programs at:

Walk more

Walking, running, and biking are great workouts with a small carbon footprint. But if you typically drive to the gym, leaving your car at home can increase your activity time while decreasing your impact on the planet. Try walking, running, or riding your bike to the gym. If you need to drive to the gym, use these tips to make the drive a little greener:

  • Carpool with friends

  • Complete other errands near your gym instead of taking multiple trips

  • Take public transportation

Use the right gear

Having the right gear can help keep your body safe while exercising. That means replacing running shoes, yoga mats, and more when they wear out. Getting rid of old gym shoes isn’t just good for your feet—it can be good for the Earth, too. Instead of tossing old workout gear, find programs that resell, donate, or recycle them. For example, and take old shoes, is a good place to donate old yoga mats, and collects other sports equipment.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is an important part of any workout. But to stay hydrated and reduce waste at the same time, ditch the plastic water bottle. Each week, Americans buy enough plastic water bottles to circle the earth 5 times. Get into the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle with you. That way, you’ll always have water on hand, making it easy to stay hydrated without the extra waste.

Online Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2018
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