Did you know you can lend a hand in taking care of our environment by the way you exercise? Sustainability in our exercise starts with treating our resources responsibly. We’re taking a look at six ways we can exercise more sustainably.

  1. Drink from Reusable Water Bottles

Proper hydration before, during, and after exercise is a necessity. However, plastic water bottles can pile up as waste in landfills. Less than one-third of plastic bottles actually get recycled (Beyond Plastics). Most reusable water bottles hold almost double the amount of water as a typical plastic bottle. This makes reusable water bottles not only a smart choice for the environment but a smart choice for your wallet too!

  1. Exercise Outdoors

Use natural resources for your workout! Take a walk at a nearby park. Go hiking with friends or family members. Save money and resources by getting in a free workout outside. Add strength training by incorporating body weight exercises like squats, lunges, or push-ups when passing by a park bench.

  1. Choose Your Equipment Wisely

There are so many different types of exercise equipment nowadays. How do you even begin to make an environmentally friendly choice? Start by doing your homework. Choose space-saving equipment that can be used for more than one kind of exercise. Decide what bells and whistles you want it to have. Ask yourself what you will use regularly, so it doesn’t become a coat rack. This will help you avoid spending money on something you don’t need or won’t use for longer than a week. Consider shopping for used equipment from private sellers or a local gym as they upgrade machines.

  1. Recycle or Donate Old Fitness Items

Whenever you’re done with fitness equipment and clothing or thinking about getting something new, recycle or donate your old items. You never know who could use it. Many charity organizations, youth centers, churches, and schools would happily accept these donations. Donations and recycling help exercise become more accessible to all people.

  1. Exercise for Charity

Give back while you get in shape! Sign up for a local race that benefits charitable organizations committed to sustainability. If you’re not ready to commit to a race, try using an app like Charity Miles. This app will donate money to the charity of your choice when you log miles by running, walking, hiking, and biking. Or give back to your community by getting some friends together and picking up trash while you go for a walk or run.

  1. Walk or Bike to Your Destination

Whether you’re going to the office or down the street to the store, ditch the car keys and grab your gym shoes instead. If the distance and weather allow for it, try walking or biking to your destinations. Save big on gas money while getting a great workout for the day. Take the proper safety precautions, and don’t forget to wear a helmet if you’re biking!

All these options are a win-win for your health and for the environment! Get out there and get moving… sustainably!


Always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.

Written by BWS Lead Health Coach- Kelly Schlather, BS, ASCM – CEP

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