Looking around the gym during a recent workout, I noticed what a big impact the daily routine of going to the gym can have on the environment. I let my mind wander while the buss of electrically powered treadmills, elliptical machines, and stair climbers competed with my favorite playlist, and I realized that I needed to green my fitness routine.
The most obvious way to incorporate a greener workout into your day is to exercise outdoors. By skipping the treadmill and running on the road, a local track or through the woods, you can reduce your consumption of energy and materials — not to mention save money if you are paying for a gym membership! Another way to go green in your fitness routine is to choose the right materials. When shopping for fitness gear, look for products made with recycled or renewable materials.
Here are some accessories that are guaranteed to look good, promote a healthy lifestyle and help the environment!
Standard yoga mats are made with PVC, which can be harmful to the environment. However you do have the choice to switch to an environmentally-friendly option.
Jade Yoga Mats are made using sustainable practices and are made without PVC or synthetic rubbers. The brand is my personal favorite, because for each mat sold, the company will donate $5 to ovarian cancer research.
* Other great options include the Original Eco Yoga Mat and the Hugger Mugger Sattva Jute Mat
Reusable Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles are filling up our landfills and are taking a toll on both the environment and our health. A better option is to purchase an eco-friendly reusable water bottle.
* Lifefactory, Eco Vessel, Bamboo Bottle Co. and CamelBak all make stylish and affordable options.
What you wear to the gym is another opportunity to be eco-friendly. It is best to wear fitness clothing that is made from organic or recycled materials (these are great at wicking moisture away) and that contains a minimal amount of synthetic fibers (like Lycra). You can also choose clothing that’s created by companies with sustainable business models and fair labor practices.
* GAIAM, prAna and GoLite follow these three principles for choosing eco-friendly fitness clothing.