Man in pushup pike position on yoga mat in industrial loft space.

Exercising is, without a doubt, beneficial. It keeps our bodies healthy, in good shape, and even prevents chances of certain harmful conditions developing. Over the years, however, we have come to exercise in ways that harm the environment. Our over-use of equipment, littering, and other bad habits are contributing to the deterioration of our world. The fact that we have managed to turn a good thing into something harmful is ironic at best! If we want to truly pursue exercise in a way that ensures we get the workout we need and stop damaging the environment, then certain steps need to be taken. And to help you take these steps, we have put together a list of ways to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly!

Include jogging as part of your routine

A lot of people choose to get their dose of activity through running. And this is perfectly normal, considering that it is a fantastic exercise, can help shed stress after a long, hard day of work, and does not require any equipment. Yet, people still insist on purchasing treadmills and running either at the gym or in the confines of their homes! The worst part of this is not the increased burden on the environment caused by electricity-powered treadmills. It is that instead of choosing to get your daily dose of running by traveling to and from work or shopping, we insist on driving. A light jog would not make you sweat; it would let you get enough exercise and be a useful life hack that enables you to keep your workout routine even when busy! So, try to include jogging into your exercise routine. 

Eliminate litter

We need water and certain foods when we exercise. No one can deny that since we would tear our bodies apart if we were to try and push ourselves without them. However, consider the behavior of a typical person working out in nature. They tend to lug around water bottles and small snacks, like protein bars. And that packaging is then quickly deposited either carelessly on the side of the road or into the nearest bin. A bin that is not designated for recycling. The goal of exercising is to embrace a healthier and better you, not contribute to our planet’s issues! If you want a snack, then bring along an apple or a banana. If you need water, then bring along a reusable bottle. Limit littering as much as you possibly can.

Use only eco-friendly exercise equipment

It must be said that exercise equipment is not inherently necessary. Sure, it can be beneficial. But at the end of the day, it does not help you get any exercise you could not have gotten without it. Still, if you cannot eschew using it, make sure you are using sustainable gym equipment! Now, the idea of equipment that is eco-friendly might sound strange. How badly can treadmills, for example, be harmful? More than you think! They are not only an unnecessary draw on resources. Many of their components cannot be thrown away without harm and need to be carefully disposed of. Equipment that uses only your muscle power, and can be safely recycled, is preferable. So, next time you are shopping for equipment, remind yourself that the minor conveniences of more ‘modern’ equipment are not worth it.

Try to exercise in nature

There are many benefits of working out outside. With elevated oxygen levels, your body is more energized and better prepared for exertion. Direct sunlight makes your skin produce the vitamins and other chemicals your body needs. Even the general open space and nature help elevate your mood and put you in a better mindset to face challenges. On the other hand, indoor training and gyms offer the exact opposite. Lack of oxygen can be harmful, weakened sunlight or entirely artificial lighting do not benefit us in any way, and the cramped quarters can cause mild depression. Not only this, but gyms are a massive draw on resources and a source of pollution, too. If you need a dedicated workout space, then take advantage of the benefits of an outdoor home gym and furnish it with eco-friendly equipment.  

Recycle your old gear

Eventually, gear does get worn out and needs to be replaced. Whether we are talking about clothes, water bottles, or even equipment. Alternatively, you might outgrow your current abilities and need to update your assortment of items. However, this does not mean you should throw everything away and forget about it! This would just create another source of litter and pollution. Instead, if the equipment is in good condition, you should either donate it or pass it on to someone you know needs it. Plenty of youth sports clubs have a constant need for more equipment and support! Not only would you be eco-friendly in your behavior, but you would also get to help another lover of sport and exercise. If the items can no longer be used, they can be recycled and adequately sorted into recycling bins.

Final Words

Being environmentally friendly is not a difficult task. All it requires of you is the bare minimum of thought and consideration for your planet. We hope that our list of ways to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly will help you achieve just that! Remember: we only have one planet for the foreseeable future. Our attempts to better ourselves should hardly come at the cost of something or someone else. Try to exercise in nature, avoid using vehicles when you can, and be mindful of the items you use and how you use them. We are sure that we can make our lives more eco-friendly together one step at a time!


Trevor Lawson is a freelance blogger with over six years of experience. He enjoys writing for various different businesses, but he mainly focuses on health and fitness since those are the things that matter most in his life. He often works with experts from to provide the best exercise tips and advice. 

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