Eco-Friendly Fitness Ideas

With all the buzz about reducing our carbon footprints, it stands to reason that we can shed pounds while lightening our load on the earth. From "up-cycled" fitness gear to cork yoga blocks and self-powered workouts, these eco-friendly fitness tips will help trim your waist and waste.

Bottled Up

Almost 40 billion plastic water bottles clog our country's landfills each year. Stop wasting and get more mileage—and beverage variety—with reusable bottles and flasks from eco-conscious companies that make chemical-free bottles. Some bottles come in mod colors and patterns, while others make stainless-steel bottles that hold ice cubes to stay refreshingly cold all day. Use them for more than fresh water by mixing up your favorite drink for some variety.

Yoga the Natural Way

Yoga is all about the unity of mind, body and spirit. Harmonize with the earth by choosing eco-friendly yoga blocks made of renewable cork or bamboo and mats made with hemp or natural rubber instead of toxic PVC.

Clubs With a Conscience

Cork floors, non-toxic paint, solar panels, dual-flush toilets. Fitness centers and stores across the country are developing models of green design, using those methods and more to keep the earth healthy.

With Team Dynamo stationary bikes riders generate their own electricity. These gyms o install equipment such as EcoPowr Treadmills Team Dynamo bikes, EnergyStar fans or use recycled paper towels to help keep the earth in tip-top shape

Unplug Your Workout

Get out and run even when the weather is participating. Wear layers of fleece and waterproof trail shoes. . Get inspired to conquer the great outdoors with activities like hiking, biking, outdoor yoga retreats or a walking challenge. If you're still feeling antsy, check out Self magazine's Playground Workout of monkey bar chin-ups, balance beam calf raises and push-ups on a swing.

Born Again

Give something that's "so last season" a new lease on life. There are now companies that helps convert old threads into new clothes with its Common Threads recycling program. Get involved by donating and they will recycle your old kicks into basketball courts, running tracks and playgrounds. You can even help by donating your trash. These companies will turn your discarded energy bar foil into backpacks, gym totes and other "up-cycled" products to hit Target next year.

Avoid Battery Burnout

If you rely on your iPod to rev you up, your batteries had better rise to the task! Extend their lives with a solar charger that captures sun rays to juice your mini-jukebox. If you need a quick fix, look for companies who recycle batteries and rebuilds custom battery packs for rechargeable products, they will swap your battery on the cheap in 24 hours.

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