About 40% of Americans make a new year’s resolution, and often that resolution is to get healthy and lose weight. If you find yourself in that camp then you’re probably going to the gym several days a week. Here are some ways you can make sure your trip to the gym helps the planet stay healthy too:
Perhaps the easiest way to start greening your exercise routine is to invest in a good reusable water bottle. Americans consume over 100 million bottles every day and only about 25% are recycled. (a statistic that makes me cringe!!) Bringing your own water bottle WILL make a huge difference in the amount of waste piling up at the landfill. You can even buy filters for reusable water bottles, and most manufacturers will recycle that filter when it’s used.
Now I may lose some of you on this next one, but hear me out! You can burn 13% more calories when you exercise in the cold, so if your doctor gives you the “OK”, try taking your workout outside once a week, and you’ll consume much less energy by not using home and gym exercise machines. Hiking in snow also adds resistance to your workout helping you burn even more calories.
When you’re back in the gym, find out if they have or would consider making some earth-friendly upgrades like incorporating recycling bins and energy efficient machines as well as asking patrons to limit towel or shower usage.
Lastly, try to carpool with a friend, neighbor, or coworker whenever possible. Not only will this save you money on gas, but having another person to hold you accountable will help you keep up with your fitness goals. If your gym is close enough, you might also consider biking or jogging there to warm up and cool down.
– Contributed by Brooke Lehenbauer, Volunteer Coordinator