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Published on March 14th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans

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Taking Steps Towards Greener Fitness

If we’re going to heal the planet, we have to start changing the way we live every aspect of our lives, one day and one step at a time.  It makes sense to start on a personal level, with the things we do every day, including living as healthfully as possible.

You’ll be amazed at how a few strategic personal choices can radiate outwards and help put us all on the path to living on earth as cleanly and sustainably as possible.

Take Your Fitness Routine Outside for a Planet-Friendly Workout

Eating whole foods and fresh produce is great for your body, and when you choose to buy seasonal, organic, and locally grown produce, you can meet your dietary needs and achieve a lower impact on the planet.

In addition to diet, consistent exercise is another major part of a healthy lifestyle.  By making a few smart decisions, you can adjust your fitness routine to have an impact on how green you’re living.  Here’s a handful of suggestions…

Get Outdoors!

By no means do you have to run right out and get a gym membership in order to stay fit!  To get in shape, get outside to experience variety in your workout and gain a connection with the natural world and other exercisers in your community.

  • Plant a garden in your backyard or join a community garden—gardening can be hard work and it’s still fun.  Plus, you could be growing your own vegetables!  From stem to plate, no transportation fuel is required.
  • Attend a yoga class once in a while or get a yoga DVD and practice it at home or in the park where you can also do good old fashioned push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, and other exercises that require no gear (though if you invest in just one dumbbell for about $15 to $25, you can really get a pretty intense workout without paying for access to a weight room).
  • Walk, bike, or jog through the park once or twice a week, for the health benefits and the peace of mind that comes from being in a serene and natural setting.
  • Better yet, ride your bike to your favorite trailhead and go trail running.  The varied terrain helps prevent common running injuries and it’s just more exciting to run in the woods than it is to pound pavement.  If you prefer disc golf or hiking to running, so be it—the important thing is getting up and doing something active outdoors rather than sitting still at home.

No matter what your fitness routine includes, make sure to bring along a reusable water bottle—no need to use a new plastic bottle every time you work out.  Also consider buying workout gear that is made from recycled or organic materials.  Recycled and materials are used by many clothing makers, and most shoe companies have foregone the use of PVC in their shoes in favor of recycled content.





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