When you drive to the gym in your brightly coloured polyester gym-wear to work up a sweat in your spin class before buying a takeaway smoothie, you may earn a rush of endorphins, but you’re not doing the planet any favours.

Fortunately, there are some simple swaps for that extra petrol consumption, those clothes made from unsustainable plastic and that single-use plastic cup, which can help make your workouts more eco-friendly. You can mix looking after your own health with looking after the health of the planet.

Be mindful about your choice of transport

We’re all guilty of revving up the car or hopping on the bus to save precious time and energy on our way to the gym, but this has a cost in terms of our carbon footprint. If your gym is within walking distance, you could use that walk (or run, perhaps?) as a warm-up for your workout and help reduce your personal impact on the environment in the process.

Alternatively, if you have a bit further to go, you could try cycling there – it’ll save you some petrol money and enable you to arrive feeling energised and ready to work hard. Every little change we can make to reduce our impact on the environment is positive.

Wear sustainable workout gear

There has been a real boom in brands creating workout gear made from sustainable materials and dyes, along with ensuring employees are paid fairly and provided with good working conditions. In general, a modern pair of shoes can be produced using around half the energy of those produced 10 years ago.

Some brands are truly leading the way in sustainability – Nike’s 2020 targets involve a 10% reduction in the environmental footprint their own products make. The Nike Free Run Flyknit generates 60% less waste in comparison to the traditional running shoe. By using these clothing products, your exercise commitments will be far more environmentally friendly.

Get a reusable bottle

This is an obvious one. By eliminating single-use plastic from your workout, you take a genuinely meaningful step in the right direction which also justifies getting your hands on a stylish and functional product. If you do end up purchasing a plastic bottled drink, you should at least be sure to take it home and recycle it properly rather than just putting it in the bin.

Some other things you can do include preparing a meal ahead of time, so you don’t feel tempted to buy a packaged meal after your workout. If you do yoga, ensure your mat is eco-friendly – there are lots of options out there. And if you really want to push the boat out, you could take part in a beach cleanup. It’s an active endeavour, a fun social experience and can make a real difference to the local environment.

A green future involves everyone making the necessary changes in every part of their lives, and your exercise regime is no exception.

Feature Image via Unsplash.com

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