Green Your Exercise Routine

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/green-your-exercise-routine.aspx

I’ve been trying to hit the gym a few extra times a week the last two months, but it’s not in an attempt to get a beach-ready body for spring break. No, my motivation is for a much better reward—food.

My two roommates and I are in a competition against two of our boyfriends to see who can rack up the most running miles in a month (we thought the extra teammate on our part would even the playing field against the running-obsessed boys). We thought it would be a fun way to motivate ourselves to get in shape, and lavish victory dinners for each month’s winners motivate us. (The victory dinner for the girls last month was an obscene amount of delicious sushi!)

The Kansas winter has been harsh this year, so my running has usually involved using a ton of energy on a treadmill. But now that spring is coming and the weather is changing, I realize that running outside not only gives me an excuse to get outdoors, it saves a ton of energy.

Shoes in Grass
Next time you strap on your running shoes, go for a jog outside instead of using a treadmill to lessen your carbon footprint. Photo By theowl84/Courtesy Flickr 

Just 30 minutes on a treadmill uses the same amount of energy it would take to light up a Christmas tree for six full hours and releases two pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere!  Now when I’m looking for a way to burn some calories, I’ll keep these ideas in mind for ways to work out that don’t leave such a big carbon footprint.

•Look for shoes with recycled rubber soles, and check out clothing companies that make workout clothes from sustainable and organic fabrics.

• My university’s student recreation center has 15 ellipticals retrofitted by ReRev, a company that sells gym equipment that captures kinetic energy and recycles it back into the building’s grid. The company’s website states that a typical 30-minute workout with ReRev retrofitted machines would provide enough energy to power: 
          • A CFL light bulb for two and a half hours
          • A cell phone charger for six full charges
          • A laptop for one hour
          • A desktop computer for 30 minutes

• Call your gym to see if it offers any equipment like this.

• Even when weather and other circumstances make going to the gym the most viable option, use fewer (or no) towels and take a reusable water bottle.