How to Green Your Fitness Routine


Lights, treadmills, fans, air conditioning. Unless you pump iron at the Venice Beach outdoor gym
chances are you’re burning as many kilowatts as calories. Here’s how to green your fitness routine.

PhotobucketDoes your health club have recycle bins near the sports drink vending machines?

If not, contact your city hall to see what steps must be taken to arrange for pick up or if the health club must hire a private firm. Meet with the owner or manager of the club to share your findings.

PhotobucketAre the lights connected to motions sensors?

Surf the web to show the management how easy it is to find motion sensors.

PhotobucketCan a water filter be installed on the fountain?

Water filters are a great way to rid water of metals and improve taste. Install one in your health club bubbler and you’ll be doing your part to discourage vending machine use.

Bring along a refillable aluminum water container, like a SIGG or Klean Kanteen, PBA-Free plastic ones such as Nalgene or Camelbak to landfill bottle buildup.

PhotobucketNamaste green

The Green Yoga Association offers a checklist to help health clubs and yoga studios go green such as choosing a yoga mat that’s been produced without PVC or latex (using bamboo or hemp) and earth-friendly mat cleaners like Happy Yoga Mat Wash. Opt for sustainable workout clothing such as organic cotton yoga pants and bamboo sports bras, and print schedules, flyers, and other promotional materials on tree-free or recycled paper.

PhotobucketGreen cardio

If you love the StepMill or StairMaster, try playing Rocky and find a few flights of stairs. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint by making some of your own. While the motions are similar, real steps will have you utilizing different muscles each time you vary your stride and width.

If you love the treadmill, take a stab at venturing outside. What might have seemed daunting in 2008 could be just the push you need to break out of your comfort zone and make 2009 the year to try new things.

Once you’re gained a little confidence sign up for a local road race and see if you can shave a few seconds off your time. No race to be found? Create one of your own and support a cause that you believe in. Be sure to log on to The Greenteam a community for race events, runners, and folks who simply give a damn. Greenteam members (it’s free to join) have access to eco-friendly race listings and nutrition and training tips.

PhotobucketEarth friendly running shoes

They’re starting to pick up speed, albeit slowly. Check out the the Cascadia 3, made with all natural ingredients, and The Trance┞¢ 8 with BioMoGo, which had a biodegradable sole.

When you’re ready to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, log on to Recycled Runners to find a new home for your old friends. Click on to your state to find a drop spot.

PhotobucketRace in place

Not up for venturing out yet? That’s ok. Reduce your transportation footprint by working out at home with a DVD. No more falling behind in class – simply pause and rewind until you’re in your comfort zone, from belly dancing and Body Bar to Bosu and Ballet.

Image: Celso Flores