When people talk about ways to be more eco-friendly, they usually say things like recycling, turning down the thermostat, and taking shorter showers. Of course, these things are important, but if we’re going to save this planet - and we have to try - then you’ll want to look at making all aspects of your life better for the environment. But good news: this is more than possible! Even when it comes to things like being healthy. Below, we take a look at several ways you can save the planet and be your fit and healthy best at the same time. You can even save money too!
Go to the gym
We all need to start consuming less, and thus using up less of the earth’s resources. The best case scenario would be for us to have a sharing economy. Instead of everyone owning their own version of something useful, everyone in the street would collectively own one. Who’s using a lawnmower every day? No-one! Let’s share it. When it comes to exercising, we already have shared equipment - it’s called the gym. One machine, multiple people using it. It’s much better for the environment than owning your own equipment. My gym also has some machines called Curve for walking and running on that require no electricity! They simply move as you move and even burn more calories than an electric powered treadmill.
Going to the gym for me has also saved money. Before the gym I was splashing out on regular exercise classes and swimming sessions each week. Going to the gym has saved me money rather than paying for these things individually each week.
There’s no shortage of gym clothing available. But do you know the carbon footprint of the threads you’re wearing? It might not be all that good for the environment. The next time you have to replace your shirts, shorts, and shoes for working out, make sure you’re supporting companies that have the Earth at the forefront of everything they do. You might have to pay slightly more than you could find elsewhere, but it’ll be good clothing, and you won’t have to feel bad that you’ve harmed the natural world. For example, try H&Ms Conscious clothing range which features an active range made from organic cottons and recycled materials.
Buying higher quality clothing that lasts longer than cheaper items will save money in the long run.
Use these tips to recycle or donate your old clothing: 13 ways to get rid of unwanted clothes (without binning them)
What you do in the gym is only half of your workout. The other half is determined by what you eat. For most people, this is the biggest impact they have on the environment! The energy and resources it takes to one slab of meat or dairy products are monumental. So consider going vegan. It uses less water, fuel, food and even prevents so much rainforest destruction. Eating a plant based diet is the best diet if you care about the planet. Despite what you’ve been told, you do not need to eat meat to get your protein fix. Load up on vegan protein, and you’ll be on your way to maximising the effect of your fitness regime. Just as healthy, much smaller carbon footprint. Perfect!
Whilst the meat and cheese alternatives, as well as vegan junk food, can be quite costly, simply eating a more homemade diet rich in fruits and veggies can be cheaper than eating a lot of meat and dairy. Good quality meat and dairy is pretty pricey! It's totally possible to eat a vegan diet for less than the cost of eating a meat rich diet.
Build it into your daily routine
Want to get healthy and help the world? You can. It’s all about building your fitness goals into your daily routine, and you can do this by leaving the car at home and using your two legs to get from A to B, either by cycling or walking. This is an excellent way to beat the effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles too.
Walking instead of driving will save money on fuel. Using public transport is a greener option when possible, but the greenest and cheapest is to walk or cycle.
Make the most of nature
Want to see what you’re fighting to preserve? Then workout in nature. A run through the woods will be body-boosting, brain-boosting, and will show you just why you’re making the small sacrifices in your life. Climb a hill and admire the glorious views from the top. Even if you have young kids there are plenty of ways to get outdoors to exercise and enjoy nature. Read 5 Fun Ways to Keep Fit with a Little One for examples!
Exercising outdoors is the cheapest way to stay fit and the greenest!