If you limit your fit-time to the gym, chances are you are contributing to excessive energy use. After all, a ton of power is required to keep those machines whirring, the music blasting and those fluorescent lights burning. However, there are plenty of ways to stay fit while saving - and embracing - the Earth. So once a week, turn off the TV, step off that energy-guzzling treadmill, and try out these four eco-friendly ways to exercise.
GO RIDE A BIKE
Leave the car in the driveway and hop on your bike instead. Whether you cycle to the store or to the office, you fight global warming by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, you can't beat the body benefits of biking — a 150-pound woman will burn about 450 calories during a 45-minute ride.
TAKE A HIKE
Embrace planet Earth with a long, leisurely hike. Not only will you be immersed in the beauty and serenity of nature, but you can burn off about 500 calories while you are at it. Go to TrailLink to find a hiking or walking trail near you, then plan a route (for extra company, bring a buddy or exercise with your dog). As you are trekking through nature, stay on marked paths to avoid disrupting living organisms burrowing beneath rocks or logs.
GO GREEN WITH GARDENING
For the ultra-green workout, you don't have to travel further than your own backyard. You can grow your own muscles with gardening. Gardening builds strength and dexterity and polishes off about 340 calories an hour. You'll get an even better boost by pulling weeds (instead of poisoning them with toxic pesticides) and using an emissions-free push mower (instead of one powered by gas). Eco-friendly gardening practices are healthy for you and good for the Earth.
GENERATE YOUR OWN POWER
The simplest way to save energy? Create a home gym that doesn't require a power strip for you to get fit. Stock up on low-cost home-gym gear like dumbbells, a jump rope, a stability ball and resistance bands. Then, slim down and save the earth at the same time.
Eco-friendly Fitness Fuel
Whatever way you choose to stay fit, be sure to hydrate by sipping water from an eco-friendly reusable water bottle, like those by Sigg. And to reenergize, snack on locally-produced or organic foods, or check out these eco-friendly recipes.