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Green Your Exercise Routine

Due to the generous spread of delicious delicacies available throughout the year and especially during the festive season, gaining weight after the festivities becomes a common grouse.

The New York Times verifies this fact, in which it reported that, a person gains an average of 7-10 pounds (3–4.5 kgs) during festive seasons such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes, it isn’t just the ones celebrating who gain weight. As people of all races are invited to various open houses, weight gain happens to everyone regardless of ethnicity!

With the festive season approaching soon, you’d need to start making preparations but not in terms of preparing delicacies but rather, planning your workout. However, make this round of workout different than your previous by making it a green one. Gone are the days of exercise routines that require a high electricity consumption, frequent travelling and new workout gear. Everything is best done green these days, so here are some pointers on how you can make your exercise more eco-friendly while still being as fashionable as before.

1. Walk, run, bike, hike

Most people tend to visit the gym whenever they want to work out. They drive to the gym, which is most often located in a shopping mall and then spend time travelling, looking for parking and making their way to the gym through the humongous mall. There are times when we should go back to the basics – walking, running, biking and hiking. If you are just looking to improve your stamina and get your blood pumping, you don’t need exercise equipment to help you achieve your mission. Not only will you reduce the amount of smoke and carbon emitted, you’ll also enjoy the experience of exercising outdoors.

2. Select eco-friendly equipment

There are companies which have come up with a range of exercising equipment which help you get in shape in an environmentally-friendly way. The products may have been produced with less resources or use materials which have been obtained responsibly. Some of the manufacturers who you can keep an eye out for and support are Precor, Life Fitness, WaterRower and SportsArt Fitness. Products made by these companies are either powered by the kinetic energy you produce, use less energy to function, don’t even require any electricity at all or are made from purely replenishable materials.

3. Workout with a friend

Yes, working out with a friend will not only kill boredom and be a source of motivation but also saves the environment by minimising the use of energy. You could carpool to your destination and then not depend on battery-powered gadgets to keep you entertained throughout your workout.

4. Build a garden

If you think that walking, running, biking and hiking seem like a chore, why not make exercise something fun instead? By gardening, you’ll sweat and use those muscles without realising that you are actually burning calories. If you have a backyard or some green space around your home, get your weekly workout there by planting some flowers or plants. The digging, planting, watering and weeding process will keep you busy while burning those extra pounds. What’s more is that you will be able to enjoy the fruit (literally) of your plantation. They are safer for consumption too since they would be free of pesticide and insecticide. For an even eco-friendlier measure, you can also collect the rain water in buckets to water the plants.

5. BYOW!

While exercising, it is important to stay hydrated. However, don’t run to the convenience store after your workout for a bottled of chilled mineral water. The plastic bottle it came in is the Earth’s greatest enemy, so BYOW! That means bring your own water in your reusable bottle that can be used over and over again.

6. Opt for organic food

In the middle of a workout, you might start feeling hunger pangs. You’d need some energy to continue with your routine, so head to the juice bar and select organic granola bars and a freshly made smoothie if the bar has them. Freshly made drinks use less processed and packaged ingredients, so you are doing your part in reducing the amount of waste discarded.

7. Make your own energy bar

Since more and more people tend to upload their recipes online, you can search for a recipe to make your own energy bar. The amount of packaging and costs cut down is well worth the effort. Besides, if you extend your culinary skills to your gym partner or friends, the degree of packaging disposal diminishes substantially, thus saving the environment. Here’s a energy bar recipe for a start (see next page)

8. Dress the green way

Dressing green does not mean that the entire outfit of t-shirts, running shorts/pants sport bra and sneakers have to be green in colour. Green clothing are made of organic cotton, recycled fabric, bamboo and other natural material, thus these products have been produced in a way that was friendly to the environment.

9. Be Anti Anti-Perspirant

Many do not know that deodorants are made out of harmful ingredients such as aluminium and formaldehyde that will harm the environment and yourself too. So what do you do to keep the BO at bay at the gym? Use a natural deodorant that can be found at certain pharmacies or organic health stores like Lafes. When making a selection, check the label to make sure that the ingredients are plant-based and that no testing on animals had been performed. You could even make your own deodorant. Simply search for recipes online and obtain the necessary ingredients.

10. Donate unwanted exercising tools, shoes or clothes

The next time your sneakers or exercising tools have worn out, don’t throw them out as someone can still benefit from them. Nike has supported such action by introducing a go-green program call Reuse-A-Shoe, where athletic shoes were transformed into shoes that can be used on tracks, playgrounds or any outdoor sport courts. Another alternative will be to donate the footwear to a non-profit organisation such as Soles4Souls which had successfully donated 13 million pairs of used shoes to those in need in over 125 countries.

Do whatever you can incorporate into your workout routine for a better environment. Getting a green workout will make you feel good knowing that as you achieve your fitness goals, you are also doing your part for the Earth.

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