workin' out

Regular exercising is an important part of being healthy; unfortunately, it's not always eco-friendly. While the gym is convenient, has everything you need, and bad weather doesn't shut things down, it also uses a ton of water, electricity and disposable cups.

I love to exercise, whether it's to complete my day's step goal, burn a million calories, tone my muscles or find some zen after a long day. I also love my gym. My go-to workouts are Zumba and Pilates, but lately I've been turning to yoga and running.

Whenever I go to the gym, I find myself trying to combine my conservationist ways with my exercising ways. One of my biggest gym peeves is the abundance of styrofoam cups at the water fountains. It's so wasteful! How can you be greener at the gym?
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle, whether you fill it at home or at a fountain.
  • Bring your own towel, so you don't contribute to the pile that goes into the industrial laundry room.
  • Take a quick shower to conserve water.
  • Be reasonable with the paper towels.
But, since we're in springtime now (all three weeks of it that we get) and it doesn't get dark until after 7:00, now is the perfect time to really green your exercise plan; whatever you like to do, go outside to do it!

Since the time change, I've been pushing myself to go for a walk or jog after work. Partly to enjoy the temperatures before it gets ridiculously hot and partly to fuel my competitive side and earn my daily steps on my Fitbit. There's also that crazy idea that I will run a 5K in April. Despite growing up as the child of two runners, I have not participated in a race since I was about 10.

But, I guess it's part of growing older that I find myself choosing to run a bit more, and it's hard to want to put in miles on a treadmill when I get sights like this in the evenings. Exercising outside allows you to appreciate nature a little bit extra. Plus, you don't need any electricity or membership for this kind of exercise.

Free, solar-powered workouts, you might say!

I love to equip myself with a good playlist and pretend I'm running to my movie soundtrack, while taking in the sunlight, blooming front yards and fresh air. It's also zen, aiding in my mental clarity.

And there are so many ways to get an outdoor workout. Yardwork? Incorporate some squats and lunges.

Bike rides are also a great way to get some cardio in, along with some great sites, like the recent evening we rode past LITE. The gym's stationary bike is okay, but a real bike is much better! Use an app like MapMyRide to calculate your exercise impact similar to the stationary bike.

Turn exercise time into sports fun. Frisbee and badminton are two backyard sports my fiance and I enjoy playing, and both usually involve running (mostly him because I'm not the best targeter sometimes). Frisbee is my favorite because it's both cardio and an arm workout.

When you're working out or exercising outdoors, remember to keep your water in a reusable bottle, and if you do have anything disposable, don't litter it!

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