Now that it's April, we're thinking about Earth Day, when we celebrate our continuing commitment to reduce waste and do our part for the planet. Calculating and reducing your carbon footprint, the amount of environment-unfriendly emissions it takes to make it through your day, is one important way to go eco. So how does your workout factor in? Here are three ways to reduce your carbon footprint while you exercise.
- Commute as workout: The average commute takes about 15 miles each way, which can translate into over a ton of carbon dioxide emissions per year. If possible, try biking to work once or twice a week: it can help save you time, since you won't have to worry about fitting in a workout that day, and cutting out drive time just a few times a month will cut your carbon footprint. Never biked to work before? Here are some tips for how to bike to work safely.
- Skip the gym: It's not just driving to work that can add up in emissions. Driving to the gym can also rack up carbon emissions, as can all the energy and resources it takes to keep you cool and comfortable once you get there. Running, biking, even strength training outside can be more convenient and more fun than trekking to the gym every day. Plus, working out at home can cut down on a lot on resources, like all those extra towels or the energy it takes to power a treadmill.
- Heat up naturally: Hot temps may be on the horizon, but Spring days and nights can still be chilly. That can mean turning up the heat on the thermostat to stay comfortable or opting for a comfortable car ride over a walk to the store. Wherever you are, raising your heartbeat for just a few minutes can make things comfortably warm. If you're taking a walk, increase your pace or do a few minutes of lunges first. If you're cold at your desk, do these five discreet strength-training moves at your desk. You'll be burning calories and raising your body temperature without having to turn up the heat — keeping your thermostat down by two degrees can save you one ton in carbon emissions if you do it throughout the year (along with raising the temperature of your air conditioner in the Summer).
Turns out, your workout can really help your eco-friendly ventures! If you need more ideas to help offset your carbon footprint, here are more ways to green your fitness.