15 May 2012

How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint When Exercising

No Comments Ethical & Eco Living

You may not think that it is possible to reduce our carbon footprint when exercising but it can be achieved by various measures. The thing about being kind to the environment is to think before you act. With a little planning you can exercise knowing that you are doing your bit to save the planet.

Commuting takes the average person two hours every day which equates to around 30 miles of travel. This translates into over a ton of carbon dioxide emissions over a year. You can make a huge difference to the amount of emissions that you are personally responsible for by changing your mode of travel, even if it is just once or twice a week.

Jogging and cycling
By jogging or cycling to work occasionally you will be reducing your carbon footprint. You will have less travel expenses, be fitter and you will not have to go to the gym on the days that you do not use the car or bus, as you will have done your workout for the day. More and more commuters are cycling to work these days. With the rising cost of fuel and the increase in bus fares, it makes sense to give the car or bus a miss. Perhaps you could cycle to work every day and just use the car or bus if the weather is extremely bad.

Many people visit the gym three to four times a week as part of their regular workout. By walking, running or cycling to the gym you are not wasting money on gas or polluting the atmosphere with poisonous emissions. It will only take you a little while longer to get to the gym if you do not drive and you will soon notice the health benefits. You will have burned many calories before you have even stepped inside the building!

Perhaps running or cycling to the gym will reduce the amount of exercise that you will have to do on the various types of equipment. You can also help the environment by taking your own bottle of water to the gym instead of buying a brand new bottle every time you go. This could potentially save you around $6 per week which you could save toward some new running shoes. Disposing of several plastic bottles every week is damaging our planet and you can easily do something about this.

By exercising, you are increasing your heart rate which in turn raises your temperature so keeping active keeps us warm. This means that we do not have to put the heating on at home as frequently because we will be warm enough by staying active. This will help reduce your carbon footprint as you will not be using oil, gas or electricity to warm up.

Exercise outside
Instead of going to the gym and paying extortionate gym membership fees you could exercise elsewhere. Running and cycling outside burns more calories and is better for your lungs and your conscience. By not going to the gym you will be saving on all of the energy it takes to power the treadmills and various other pieces of exercise equipment.

You can get free cell phone apps which tailor an exercise regime just for you, so you would still be confident that you are doing the correct type of workout. If it is the social aspect of the gym that you like then you could try and encourage a friend to share your workout or join an outdoor exercise establishment such as a boot camp style class. These classes are very popular, are a great way of exercising with others and are kinder to the environment than regular gyms.

Some gyms offer environmentally friendly exercise machines where you create electricity whilst exercising. This is known as Green Revolution Technology. They are normally used in spinning classes (stationery exercise bikes) and a generator is placed behind the front wheel. The higher you set the resistance on these bikes, the more power you generate. So if you want to be extremely green, this will encourage you to work harder.

The idea behind this new technology is that when you work out, you are creating clean, renewable energy which reduces our reliance on other types of fuel. Statistics show that a group cycling session which runs 4 classes per day can create up to 30KW of power per month. This equates to the amount of power needed to light a typical house for half a year. There are not many gyms which practice green revolution technology but the numbers are steadily rising with many more establishments jumping on the bandwagon, wanting to show that they are taking their green responsibilities seriously.

So next time you are pounding way on the treadmill, or travelling to work by car or bus, give the planet some thought. By making a few changes to your life and making some compromise, you can live a greener, cleaner lifestyle.


Grace Pamer is a thirty something mom of 3 gorgeous kids and a full time writer. She writes romance and dating tip columns for various publications.

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