Seeing to your health and fitness isn’t easy under normal circumstances, but when you make an informed decision to do all you can for the health of the planet as well, it can be even more difficult to meet all of your goals. You may not be keen to use prescription medications (traces of which can seep into the water supply after being expelled from your body), buying manufactured hand weights might set off your waste and pollution alarm bells, and going to the gym, where machines are plugged in and sucking up energy 24/7 is just too depressing. But believe it or not, there are actually a lot of ways that you can attend to your health and fitness needs while still reducing your carbon footprint. Here are some you may want to examine.
- Ask about alternative medications. If you have a serious or even life-threatening medical condition, you simply might not have a choice when it comes to taking medication. But for everyday stuff like colds, body aches, skin conditions, and so on you may be able to find herbal alternatives. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations, or better yet, ask to be referred to a naturopathic physician (preferably one with a degree, since certification practices vary by state).
- Find eco-friendly fitness options. Several companies now sell fitness equipment (yoga mats, balance balls, and even hand weights) that do less harm by using recycled materials, cutting waste and pollution, and/or opting for recycled packaging materials. But you might be more surprised to learn that there are entire gym facilities working to go green by using recycled building materials, energy and water-saving devices, and machines that run on kinetic energy (which is produced by your movement, meaning you power the machine’s electrical components). You may not find one of these facilities in your area, but you can talk to your local gym about possibly making some changes.
- Jogging. There is no exercise that is more eco-friendly than jogging. All you need is two legs and a desire to hit the open road. Okay, you need a little more than that; you’re also going to want proper jogging gear. Luckily, you’re not the first greenie on the planet to consider the impact that your life is having on the beautiful world you’re jogging through. There are actually quite a few organic clothing lines devoted to fitness fiends like yourself, many of them made from cotton, bamboo, and even hemp that is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. And they’re all designed to be cool and comfortable for runners. Although there aren’t any organically made running shoes out there, you can still go green by recycling your old pairs through Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program.
- Biking. If high-impact activity is not your thing but you still want to get in some cardio, think about ditching the car and opting for a bike. You will not only save yourself some money; you’ll also cut your carbon emissions. And if you’re worried about the manner in which bikes are manufactured, simply purchase a used bicycle and give it a second life.
- Go organic. Most of us have spent time pondering how to lose weight fast, and one good option is to stop eating products that are full of chemicals, additives, and preservatives and make the switch to natural foods. Adding organic fruits and vegetables should help you to lose weight and feel great, but you may also want to include lean meats, whole grains, and a slew of other organic products. Think it costs too much? Grow an organic garden to spend less.
Carol Montrose writes for http://www.getprograde.com/ where you can find great products and advice to help you lose weight.