How to Have a Green Workout

Three Parts:Choosing Green Workout RoutinesPurchasing Environmentally Friendly Fitness GearMaking Green Exercise Choices

Being green or environmentally friendly has become much more popular over the years. Recently, this "green mindset" has crossed over into the exercise and fitness world and people are now more interested in having green workouts. You may be surprised by how many little changes you can make to how you exercise, what you wear during exercise and what you do at the gym that can make your overall fitness routine greener and more environmentally friendly. Take a few minutes to consider your current exercise routine and see if there are changes you can make so that you can have a green workout.

Part 1
Choosing Green Workout Routines

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    Go for a walk or a run. There's nothing more green and environmentally friendly than skipping the drive to the gym. Leave your car at home and head outside for a walk or run.[1]
    • If you can, consider ditching your gym workout (at least a few days a week) in favor of outside cardio activities.
    • Without needing to drive anywhere, even a short distance, your saving the fuel you would use to drive and reducing the amount of fumes released from your car.
    • Try going for a walk or run around your neighborhood or local park. You can head out before your go to work, or go for a quick jog when you get home.
    • If you feel uncomfortable walking or running alone or going when it's dark, consider taking a friend or family member with you.
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    Stay home and do an exercise DVD. Similar to walking or running, another great idea to reduce your environmental footprint is by staying home and doing an exercise DVD or other home-based workout.
    • Again, if you can skip the gym you won't have to drive to the gym and waste gas and fuel.
    • Using an exercise DVD, video or doing a workout at home is a great alternative. It's also a good way to workout if it's raining, too cold or hot or you dont have a safe place to workout outside.
    • Purchase a few exercise DVDs, look for online exercise videos or make up your own exercise routine to do at home.
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    Use your commute to exercise. Another way that really helps the environment is to make your commute your workout for the day. Skip driving or taking the train and walk, bike or run to work.[2]
    • Skipping the gym in favor of a home workout is a great start to having a more green and environmentally friendly exercise routine. However, if you get right back in the car to head to work, you're still using excess gas and fuel.
    • If you can, try making your usual work commute your exercise for the day. Try walking, biking or evening running to work if you're able.
    • This will not only cut down on the gas spent going to the gym, but also cut down on the gas used to get you to work.
    • If you don't want to run, walk or bike to work daily, just pick a few days out of the week. Or if you work too far away, consider walking or biking to the grocery store, pharmacy or other local places.
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    Join a team sport. If you enjoy playing sports - like soccer or basketball - you may want to consider doing a team sport. This is great for the environment, but also a great social way to stay active.[3]
    • One of the best aspects about team sports, is the use of shared equipment. You probably won't have to go out and buy brand new gear. Much of the gear is shared between the whole team.
    • If you can, consider carpooling to practices and games. This way, you don't have 10 cars on the road, you'll only have one or two instead. This cuts down on the gas use.
    • In addition, team sports are a great way to stay accountable. You can't skip practices or games often, otherwise you'd be letting the team down.

Part 2
Purchasing Environmentally Friendly Fitness Gear

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    Buy a reusable water bottle. A very easy way to make your workout greener, is by getting and regularly using a reusable water bottle. Since over 50 billion plastic water bottles are used yearly, much of that excess plastic ends up in landfills.[4]
    • If you typically grab a bottle of water or a sports drink when you workout, consider ditching those plastic bottles in favor of a reusable bottle.
    • Many reusable bottles are made out of stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. They come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.
    • Make sure to fill up your water bottle before you hit the gym or workout at home. That way, you'll have ice cold water ready to go when you need it.
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    Grab an eco-friendly yoga mat. Many types of exercises require the use of either a yoga or fitness mat. To keep your workout green, look to purchase a mat that's eco-friendly and green.
    • More traditional yoga mats, those that aren't considered eco-friendly, are typically made with PVC plastic which could contain heavy metals and phthalates.[5]
    • Instead, consider purchasing an all natural rubber yoga mat. These are made from an all natural source - the rubber tree - and it's considered a renewable resource and it's biodegradable.
    • You can also consider purchasing a plant fiber mat. These mats are made from either jute, hemp, cotton or a combination and are also considered renewable and biodegradable.
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    Purchase fitness clothing from sustainable companies. Another important aspect to consider is your exercise clothing. Not all clothing is considered green, so be careful with what you buy and try choose more sustainable clothing companies.[6]
    • Many brands of exercise clothing are very specialized. They're designed to wick sweat away from your body, be more breathable or be more durable.
    • Look for clothing that's made from soy, coconut shells or organic cotton as these are the most green types of fabric.
    • Review different companies websites and manufacturing processes so you feel comfortable with what you're buying.
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    Grab a pair of recycled rubber shoes. Similar to specific clothing and fitness mats, try to choose an environmentally friendly pair of shoes. There are a host of options to fit your athletic needs. center]]
    • Look for shoes that are made from organic cotton or all natural rubber since these are both renewable materials.
    • If you really want to get a pair of super eco-friendly shoes, consider purchasing a pair of barefoot running shoes. These minimalist shoes only use a little material so they're naturally more eco-friendly.
    • In addition, some companies offer the ability to donate old shoes. So instead of throwing them away, you can donate them to be ground up into playground material or even remade into a new pair of shoes.[7]

Part 3
Making Green Exercise Choices

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    Only grab one towel at the gym. If you do go to the gym, there are still ways to be a little more environmentally friendly. Start with those towels you pick up.
    • Most gyms offer their clients free hand towels to use during their workouts. Instead of grabbing two or more towels just grab one.
    • Remember, the gym needs to wash and clean all of these towels. If everyone is grabbing two or more towels, they'll need to spend more water and energy to clean all of those towels.
    • Try to stick to only one towel per day or per gym trip instead of multiple. Or, consider bringing your own towel instead.
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    Power up household appliances while you exercise. Did you know you can actually harness all that energy you spend on fitness equipment at home? Consider using that energy to help power up your home.[8]
    • If you want to get a little crafty at home, you can actually attach a generator or battery to some common cardio machines - like a stationary bike.
    • As you bike, the energy generated by the bike will get saved into the battery. You can then use this energy later to power up simple household appliances.
    • You can use this energy to power up: an ipod, computer, the toaster or even a TV.
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    Save energy while you use gym equipment. If you have gym equipment at home or are using equipment at the gym, there are still ways to save energy and make your workout more green.
    • For example, instead of watching the TV while you run or use the elliptical at the gym, keep the TV turned off to minimize how much energy you use. Also, turn off the TVs on treadmills or ellipticals which aren't being used.
    • Setting your treadmill to a higher incline level also helps cut down on the energy needed to power the machine.
    • Also, if you do happen to grab a bottle of water or a sports drink, make sure to avoid throwing it away in the regular trash. Recycle all plastic bottles you use.
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    Use household items for gym equipment. If you want to spend more time at home working out so you can save gas and energy, consider using some household items for your workouts.
    • Purchasing brand new gym equipment so you can workout at home can be expensive. Instead, try using some common household items that you can use for your workouts.
    • For example, you can use canned soup or gallon water jugs for weights. Instead of buying a new yoga mat, consider doing floor exercises on carpet. You can even use a crate or chair to help increase your elevation for certain exercises.


  • There are a whole host of ways that you can make your workout more green. Start by choosing one or two ways to be more environmentally friendly to start with.
  • It may not be possible to be 100% green or do everything that is environmentally friendly. But if you can do a few things, that's better than nothing at all.

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Categories: Personal Fitness | Environmental Awareness