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How to make your workout greener

How to make your workout greener

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Let’s take a closer look at how we can be more eco-friendly when choosing workout gear.

Let’s take a closer look at how we can be more eco-friendly when choosing workout gear.

How to make your workout greener
While we went through different levels of lockdown this past year, it made us think more deeply about our impact on the environment. Wasn’t nature beginning to heal itself as we disappeared into our homes and reduced our carbon footprint?

We cut down on flights, reduced the number of trips to and from work, and bought reusable bags to carry our fruit and veg from our grocery runs – but did we also look at whether our new wellness habits might also be counteracting our efforts?

New workout gear to help keep up those new year’s resolutions? Tick. New water bottle to stay hydrated on hikes on the weekend? Tick. Improve that yoga move with a block? Tick. Cancel gym subscription but set something up at home? Tick. More waste? Tick.

Whether you down dog, bottom turn, breaststroke or burpee to keep fit, let’s take a closer look at how we can make more eco-friendly and local choices whichever exercise we choose.

Hiking and running

Hiking and walking trails have become the new mall run and besides being better for your health beyond sucking in that fresh air and clocking a cardio workout, they help keep your mind sharp. Navigating rocks, hanging branches and route markers is said to exercise "the restrosplenial cortex and the hippocampus" to improve memory.  

When you’re on the trot though, besides comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat, you’re going to need to carry enough water. Instead of grabbing a plastic bottle at the petrol station on the way to the starting point, invest in one that you can safely re-use. Preferably one from Klean Kanteen, where each product is plastic-free. In 2002, founder Robert Seals sought out to create reusable water bottles that “keep drinks hot for eight hours and iced for 24 hours” and are made from non-toxic insulated stainless steel. No more tripping over litter.

Allbirds creates running shoes made from renewable and recycled materials. Check out their Tree Dashers outdoor, no-slip sneaker with an upper produced from eucalyptus tree and merino wool, and a sole made from the world’s first carbon negative green EVA. These shoes are great for runs or for everyday wear. Not only does this company use eco-friendly materials, but they offset all their carbon output, too.

If you’re looking for environmentally friendly options for jogging, running or just getting your 10 000 steps a day, but at home, there are treadmills and bikes that use your exertion to help power up your machine of choice and return the energy you generate back into the grid. The green fitness company, Sports Art has a variety of options you can try that also only draw a small amount of electricity when in use.

Surfing and swimming

There are so many benefits of training your limbs in water. It gets your heart rate up with less impact on your joints, helps burn fat (because water adds resistance as you move through it) and gives you more mobility.

When it comes to getting kitted out, this is where brands seem to be making the biggest strides to help protect the environment. From boards and wetsuits to swimsuits and trunks, these are some great products made here at home.

Dan O’hara has replaced the nasty stuff boards are usually made from, like “polyurethane foam, fiber glass and polyester resin," with a mix of organic hemp, bio resins, flax and recycled cores, in his Solid Surf products. Similarly, Nev Hyman’s brand Firewire produces eco-friendly surfboards made from sustainably grown Paulownia wood and bio resin. This brand also produces a surfboard leash that is “made using plastic bottles, recycled urethane and Yulex” and “represents a more than 80% decrease in carbon footprint compared to other leashes”.

On the west coast, California based brand Patagonia make their wetsuits entirely from neoprene-free Yulex instead of using petroleum-based or limestone-based materials. The Yulex material is made from plants, and it is more flexible, comfortable, light-weight and durable than the neoprene material. Producing petroleum not only speeds up climate change, the toxic gasses released when it’s processed may cause cancer.

If you’re not a surfer and looking for a trunk or a swimsuit that you can train in that that does less to endanger the environment, you have a few options. Outerknown make swim shorts made from 100% renewable or recycled fibers to lower their carbon footprint. These three brands make swimsuits and packaging from biodegradable, recyclable and/or sustainable materials and energy-saving manufacturing, using harm free dyes and/or ensuring fair labor practice: Vitamin A, TomboyX and prAna.

Yoga and pilates

They say that stretching and breathing not only helps keep anxiety at bay but also slows down aging. A good reason to perfect your crow pose.

Whether you’re a yogi looking to replace old workout gear or need to get fitness gear from scratch, look out for brands like Boody, for ethically sourced, 100% organically grown bamboo-made garments. Boody is from Australia but they’ve made ordering easy for the United States with a dedicated e-commerce site. They also ship most of their items by boat, which has a lower environmental impact than air freight.

Get your latex, PVC, and other toxic materials-free, fully biodegradable and recyclable mats from places like Manduka and Yoloha. Yoloha also makes simply designed yoga blocks made from cork.

Anything else?

Don’t forget about that sunscreen and hat you use to protect your skin from the sun. The Grove Co. has a few products that are safer for the oceans, not tested on animals and use plant dyes instead of harmful chemicals.

What you put on your body is as important as what you put in. Consider cleaner eating too for a holistically green workout.

While we went through different levels of lockdown this past year, it made us think more deeply about our impact on the environment. Wasn’t nature beginning to heal itself as we disappeared into our homes and reduced our carbon footprint?

We cut down on flights, reduced the number of trips to and from work, and bought reusable bags to carry our fruit and veg from our grocery runs – but did we also look at whether our new wellness habits might also be counteracting our efforts?

New workout gear to help keep up those new year’s resolutions? Tick. New water bottle to stay hydrated on hikes on the weekend? Tick. Improve that yoga move with a block? Tick. Cancel gym subscription but set something up at home? Tick. More waste? Tick.

Whether you down dog, bottom turn, breaststroke or burpee to keep fit, let’s take a closer look at how we can make more eco-friendly and local choices whichever exercise we choose.

Hiking and running

Hiking and walking trails have become the new mall run and besides being better for your health beyond sucking in that fresh air and clocking a cardio workout, they help keep your mind sharp. Navigating rocks, hanging branches and route markers is said to exercise "the restrosplenial cortex and the hippocampus" to improve memory.  

When you’re on the trot though, besides comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a hat, you’re going to need to carry enough water. Instead of grabbing a plastic bottle at the petrol station on the way to the starting point, invest in one that you can safely re-use. Preferably one from Klean Kanteen, where each product is plastic-free. In 2002, founder Robert Seals sought out to create reusable water bottles that “keep drinks hot for eight hours and iced for 24 hours” and are made from non-toxic insulated stainless steel. No more tripping over litter.

Allbirds creates running shoes made from renewable and recycled materials. Check out their Tree Dashers outdoor, no-slip sneaker with an upper produced from eucalyptus tree and merino wool, and a sole made from the world’s first carbon negative green EVA. These shoes are great for runs or for everyday wear. Not only does this company use eco-friendly materials, but they offset all their carbon output, too.

If you’re looking for environmentally friendly options for jogging, running or just getting your 10 000 steps a day, but at home, there are treadmills and bikes that use your exertion to help power up your machine of choice and return the energy you generate back into the grid. The green fitness company, Sports Art has a variety of options you can try that also only draw a small amount of electricity when in use.

Surfing and swimming

There are so many benefits of training your limbs in water. It gets your heart rate up with less impact on your joints, helps burn fat (because water adds resistance as you move through it) and gives you more mobility.

When it comes to getting kitted out, this is where brands seem to be making the biggest strides to help protect the environment. From boards and wetsuits to swimsuits and trunks, these are some great products made here at home.

Dan O’hara has replaced the nasty stuff boards are usually made from, like “polyurethane foam, fiber glass and polyester resin," with a mix of organic hemp, bio resins, flax and recycled cores, in his Solid Surf products. Similarly, Nev Hyman’s brand Firewire produces eco-friendly surfboards made from sustainably grown Paulownia wood and bio resin. This brand also produces a surfboard leash that is “made using plastic bottles, recycled urethane and Yulex” and “represents a more than 80% decrease in carbon footprint compared to other leashes”.

On the west coast, California based brand Patagonia make their wetsuits entirely from neoprene-free Yulex instead of using petroleum-based or limestone-based materials. The Yulex material is made from plants, and it is more flexible, comfortable, light-weight and durable than the neoprene material. Producing petroleum not only speeds up climate change, the toxic gasses released when it’s processed may cause cancer.

If you’re not a surfer and looking for a trunk or a swimsuit that you can train in that that does less to endanger the environment, you have a few options. Outerknown make swim shorts made from 100% renewable or recycled fibers to lower their carbon footprint. These three brands make swimsuits and packaging from biodegradable, recyclable and/or sustainable materials and energy-saving manufacturing, using harm free dyes and/or ensuring fair labor practice: Vitamin A, TomboyX and prAna.

Yoga and pilates

They say that stretching and breathing not only helps keep anxiety at bay but also slows down aging. A good reason to perfect your crow pose.

Whether you’re a yogi looking to replace old workout gear or need to get fitness gear from scratch, look out for brands like Boody, for ethically sourced, 100% organically grown bamboo-made garments. Boody is from Australia but they’ve made ordering easy for the United States with a dedicated e-commerce site. They also ship most of their items by boat, which has a lower environmental impact than air freight.

Get your latex, PVC, and other toxic materials-free, fully biodegradable and recyclable mats from places like Manduka and Yoloha. Yoloha also makes simply designed yoga blocks made from cork.

Anything else?

Don’t forget about that sunscreen and hat you use to protect your skin from the sun. The Grove Co. has a few products that are safer for the oceans, not tested on animals and use plant dyes instead of harmful chemicals.

What you put on your body is as important as what you put in. Consider cleaner eating too for a holistically green workout.

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