Eco-Friendly Fitness: Sustainable Exercise for a Healthier You and Planet


There’s a lot of overlap between people who want to stay fit and people who care deeply about the planet. The kind of awareness that leads a person to want to be fit generally creates the same kind of awareness that wants a fit planet to live in.

Being a fit person isn’t necessarily bad for the environment. You’re not about to read a ton of takes about how living a fit and healthy lifestyle is killing the planet. However, if you’re the kind of person who wants to go the extra mile when it comes to ensuring a green future for yourself and for the planet, there are some steps you can take to synergize your fitness life with your desire to save the planet. 

It will take only a little bit of effort on your part, but it can make a huge difference. As with fitness, living in an ecologically aware fashion is a lifestyle, not something you do every now and again. 

Use A Gym Close To Home

One of the biggest drains on the environment is fossil fuel use. So unless you’re going to some super gym way across town, consider going to the closest gym you can find.

Think about all the time that you spend in a car how much gas you burn… and how much carbon you emit each time you go to and from the gym. You can easily lower your carbon footprint by finding a place that’s closer. Extra points if it’s close enough that you can walk to and from the gym. 

Repurpose Old Gear For New Use

Another thing that’s killing the planet is production. We’re so quick to buy things we don’t really need. That takes a huge toll on the environment when the goods are produced, transported, and then thrown into a landfill.

Instead, look for ways to repurpose objects that you already have for fitness purposes. So many people were doing this during COVID. That wooden box you have just sitting around can be a plyometric box. All kinds of objects can be repurposed. Don’t just throw things out and, where you can, shop used to slow down the market for new goods – the world is already full of fitness equipment that isn’t being used. Don’t create more. 

When your fitness gear has served its purpose for you, consider selling it second-hand or even just donating it. 

Support Sustainable Brands

A number of fitness brands are leaning into ecological practices by using sustainable business practices up and down the line, from production to logistics to sales. These aren’t fly-by nights making junk for the purposes of appealing to a niche market. These are top brands you probably already own or wish you did.

Some examples of ecologically sustainable fitness brands include Eleiko, WaterRower, and its German sister company NOHrD, Paragon, SportsArt, Intenza, Fitwood, and Casall. If you use a public gym, encourage the owners to use sustainable brands such as these. They’re not just good for the environment, they’re also some of the best equipment that money can buy. 

Ditch The Single-Use Plastic Bottles

How many people do you see at the gym using single-use plastic bottles? Probably a lot. Not only is this bad for the environment, creating all kinds of production and waste, but it’s also bad for you. Those plastic bottles contain noxious chemicals that leach into the water and can wreak havoc on your endocrine system.

Instead, get a water bottle you can use over and over again. Metal is the best material for this and it’s significantly less expensive than even a month’s worth of single-use plastic bottles.
Being fit does not have to run counter to your ecological principles. Look for ways to make your fitness life fit in with your green life. You’ll be glad you did and so will the planet.

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