Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, so why not celebrate with an eco-friendly workout? The global event brings together citizens of the world, as more than one billion people across 190+ countries take action to increase awareness about environmental issues and create a greener, more eco-friendly planet. This Earth Day, whether you’re looking to make a difference or simply celebrate the great outdoors, here are a few eco- and fitness-friendly ways to commemorate the day.
Bike to work
Not only is it good for your health, it helps the environment by reducing air pollutants. If biking isn’t an option, take public transportation or try carpooling. Biking at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour burns approximately 298 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person.
Go for a “Plog”
Plogging, a fitness trend out of Sweden, is “plucking” litter while on a jog, and combines athletic and earth-friendly pursuits. Head out for a run wearing gloves and equipped with a trash bag. The activity has spread across Europe and into the United States.
Take a hike
Earth Day is an ideal opportunity to get back to nature. Explore local options for a day of hiking. It’s great exercise and not only benefits your physical health, but your mental health. Science shows that immersion in nature improves your mental well-being.
Ditch the treadmill and Peloton for the day and go for a run or a walk outside in the fresh air. It’s free and doesn’t require a power source.
Exercise your green thumb
Gardening is a full-body workout and can burn up to 300 calories per hour, making it a great moderate-intensity workout. Work in your backyard, or volunteer at a local garden or conservancy. You’ll get fit and beautify the landscape at the same time.
Use sustainable athletic gear
When purchasing athletic gear, seek out brands with a sustainable story. A growing number of eco-friendly brands are entering the market, including products made from recycled water bottles!
Ditch the plastic water bottles
It’s important to stay hydrated when exercising, but too many people depend on the convenience of plastic water bottles, and they come at a cost. Roughly 32 percent of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging—like that used for plastic water bottles—made every year isn’t recycled, according to a World Economic Forum study. It’s left to flow into the oceans. Each person who switches to a reusable water bottle can save an average of 156 plastic bottles per year, according to the Earth Day Network.
Leave the car in the garage
Ditch the car, Uber, or Lyft and use your feet to travel. Without being reliant on wheels, you’ll secretly squeeze in fitness and save on those crazy gas prices as well!
So, on Earth Day, join the billions of people around the world and celebrate both fitness and sustainability. With an eco-friendly workout, you’ll not only take steps to improve yourself, but also contribute to a healthier planet.
Gregory N. Bratman, J. Paul Hamilton, Kevin S. Hahn, Gretchen C. Daily, and James J. Gross (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. 112 (28) 8567-8572.
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