Are Skinny People Ruining the Environment?

Sahar Aker

You don't need an exercise machine that uses electricity to help you burn calories. You can do that all on your own. Outside. And while you're at it, boost your mood, too.

Recent research shows just five minutes of "green" exercise -- physical activity in a nature setting -- a day improves your mood, self-esteem, and mental health.

Isn't it nice to know the environment is looking out for you? Why not return the favor?

Check out these tips on how to reduce that fit footprint of yours.

Get moving outdoors. I know this may sound obvious, but let's get a little creative here. Have you ever thought of all the things you can do outside that use only YOUR energy? Besides walking, jogging, or biking, try skipping, jumping jacks, or running up and down stairs. Maybe even add some strength training like a few lunges, squats, or situps to your routine.

Drink up. But don't you dare buy bottled water. Or use those paper cups at the gym by the water jugs. Such a waste! Instead, bring your own reusable water bottle for your H2O when you workout.

Wear your green on your sleeve. Buy workout clothes made of organic cotton, bamboo, or other natural fibers. And try yoga mats or yoga bags made of recycled materials.

Give those old threads and treads a second life. Did you know you can send some of your worn-out workout clothes to places like Patagonia's Common Threads Recycling Program and they will turn them into new ones? You can also drop off your old sneakers at a Nike Reuse-A-Shoe collection center and they will use them to make basketball courts, running tracks, and playgrounds.

One other thing I try to do is to walk when I do my errands whenever I can. I’m fortunate because I live in an area where I’m within a mile or two of my bank, gym, and grocery store so I don't have to drive to those places unless the weather is bad. Or the grocery list is too long.

Do you have any green exercise tips you want to share?


Image via Method Fitness/Flickr

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