There’s no time like bikini season to get back into exercise mode. Just knowing that you might be showing skin can motivate self-improvement in a way no pep talk, bribe, or promise of fame and fortune ever could. Whether you’ve never stepped foot in a gym or you consider yourself a guru of all things exercise, here are some ways you can not only kick your workout up a notch, but you can go green at the same time.
Go for a jog around the neighborhood. When you go for a run outside instead of on the treadmill, you’re not only saving the electricity it would take to power the machine, you’re also saving the energy on air conditioning, lighting, and for a lot of people, television. Jogging outside is also a great way to explore new areas, get some fresh air, and keep your exercise routine interesting. So put on some sunblock, tie those laces, and get moving.
Invest in a sliding board. Ever since they showed up on The Biggest Loser, people have been talking about slide boards. They’re a bit more fun than treadmills and a lot more energy efficient – seeing that they don’t need electricity to run. They also train your muscles laterally, working the same muscles as sports like basketball, skating, soccer, and others, making it a good option for athletes.
Bike your commute, or at least part of it. Not everyone has the luxury of living close enough to work to ride a bicycle instead of driving to the office. But even if you don’t think you can bike the whole trip, ask yourself if you can cycle for at least a part of it. This might be an especially good option for people that take commuter buses into cities. Instead of driving to the bus stop, ride your bike.
Go swim in a lake (or other natural body of water)! When it gets hot, we all want to take a dip in some cold water. A lot of people head to the pool, but look into local bodies of water for a good place to swim some laps. Swimming is a total body workout that delivers very little impact to your joints, plus it cools you at the same time. Going swimming in a body of water means no chlorine, no heat, and no electricity was used to get you into shape.
Take a hike. Literally. There are probably more great trails within 50 miles of your home than you ever imagined. Many of us think we need to get on an airplane or drive for hours to see something new, but there is usually a host of unexplored terrain right outside our doors. Put Google Maps to some good use, and find a hiking trail near you.
Adopt a pup from the pound. Not only will adopting a new friend save a life, it will also get you off your derrière four times a day to take the dog for a bathroom trip. And by getting a dog from a shelter instead of a breeder, you’re making an environmentally responsible move.
Photo by Ed Yourdon