Fitness Diaries: How to work out the eco way
Amber Brammah is a personal trainer and founder of Lovefit, Cambridge. Mum to Milo and a pre and postnatal specialist, she helps women get back into bodies they love. Here, she considers the benefits of eco/green living for health
When we think about being green or eco-friendly, we tend to assume this is purely for the health of the planet. And whilst saving this beautiful Earth is at the heart of the ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ motto, green-living is also vital for your own health and wellness. This month I wanted to look at ways we can make our fitness journey as green as possible, by minimising our impact on the environment, as well as explaining how being eco-friendly directly benefits your health.
- Eliminate unnecessary car travel. It’s so common for people to drive to the gym, to get on a treadmill that uses electricity, or to work out in a studio that is air conditioned. Might it be possible for you to simply go for a run, instead of heading to the gym? If not (and I fully respect that), could you lift share - as restriction easing allows - or use public transport instead of driving to the gym / swimming pool / tennis lesson, if it’s not walkable or cyclable?
- Bring your own towel to the gym. Leisure centres get through tonnes of towels used once for a quick mop of the brow, all washed at a very high temperature. Bring your own towel and wash it at home with your other laundry when you have a full wash load ready.
- Take your workout outside. Not only does exercising in nature have wonderful mental health benefits, it also eliminates the use of electricity.
- Whilst sports clothing companies would have us believe that we need the latest design, we don’t need to buy new gym kit every season. Much as my legging game is strong, I still wear gym clothing that I bought when I started my business (13 years ago). When you do need to replace worn out items, consider more sustainable materials such as bamboo, or look at pre-loved active wear. There are lots of clothes swap sites and physical shops nowadays where you can pick up a bargain, and do your bit for the planet.
- Perhaps an obvious one, but bring your own stainless steel water bottle, rather than buying a bottle of water at the gym. And a reusable coffee cup for that post-workout caffeine hit!
- If lockdown inspired you to workout at home and you are still on the lookout for fitness equipment, keep your eyes peeled on buying and selling sites. People often sell or give away old weights, treadmills and other bits. Likewise, don’t throw your unwanted items in the bin. There’s every chance that somebody somewhere would be very grateful to have them.
- Did you know that many sports shops will take your old trainers? Some donations can actually be reconditioned and passed on to charities to be given a new lease of life. Otherwise those stinky old running shoes can be turned into something else.
BENEFITS TO YOUR HEALTH
- BPAs are hormone disruptors. Eliminating plastics will help to reduce the toxic load on your body. Use glass containers for food storage, and metal or glass bottles for drinks.
- Where possible, eat organic. Yes, it costs a bit more, but it’s so much better for your body not to have all those extra chemicals added in. A veg box delivered to your door usually has the added bonus of being plastic-free.
- Finally, whilst organic produce can cost a little more, consider the cost-saving over the years by investing in reusable items such as sanitary ware (instead of chucking pads away) or beeswax wraps (instead of cling film).
I hope this has given you some ideas for investing in your own health and the planet.
Find out more about Amber and Lovefit at lovefittraining.com
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