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6 sustainable swaps for your gym workout

purple sports bra pink trainers silver reusable water bottle and black dumbells against pink and purple gradient background to represent sustainable gym alternatives

It appears in 2021 that a lot of people have chosen to make their resolution to cut down on waste, which is amazing to see!

We always advise choosing one area of your life or room in the house to start with and questioning how sustainable it is and what you could change. There are pretty much always Eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items, which makes it a lot easier to start living a more sustainable life.

Today, we’re here to help you be more sustainable when it comes to your gym workout. This is usually top of people’s priorities in the new year, so a good place to start.

It’s important not to get caught up in exercising to look a certain way. Focus on how exercise makes you feel. Exercise is amazing for stress relief, improving your mood and keeping your mind healthy – not just your body. Plus, it can be very effective for relieving period pains!

Here are 6 swaps to make your gym workout more sustainable:

Wear sustainably made workout gear

When it comes to workout gear, consider how sustainable the materials used to make your clothes are. Choosing workout clothing that is consciously created helps lessen the impact it has on the planet. Although these can be a higher price point, they are made to last so will be a staple in your wardrobe for years and years.

Choosing sustainable workout gear can also benefit your exercise routine. Sustainable materials are often breathable, helping to improve your comfort and keep you feeling fresh as you exercise.

We love Adidas’ Parley range, which is made from Parley Ocean Plastic™. This is upcycled waste from beaches and coastal communities that is intercepted before it reaches the ocean. As part of the OneShoeOneTree project, Inkkas© plants one tree for every purchase.

We also love Organic Basics, who use materials such as mechanically recycled nylon for their gym wear. This uses 80% less water and creates 90% fewer CO2 emissions to produce.

Choose a gym with a difference

A lot of gyms have bright artificial lights, lots of TV screens blaring and excessive paper towel usage. Whilst this can be difficult to avoid, there is a new sustainable gym group on the rise. Green Gym Group choose to make a positive difference to the planet with every decision they make. They think that “as advocates of a healthy lifestyle that we should take the same care with the environment as we do with our own bodies.”

Green Gym Group’s Cardio Equipment feeds 74% of energy produced back to the grid. Their lights, electrics, air conditioning and heating are set to specific timers which allows them to reduce and regulate their energy consumption. They also use low water consumption showers and promote beach cleans to their members.

Their first gym has recently opened in Brighton and they will be expanding to more locations.

Be mindful about how you get to the gym

Consider how you get to the gym. Do you usually drive or take public transport? How about jogging, cycling or walking there instead? You can use this as part of your workout to cut down the time you spend in the gym. If your gym is not walking distance, scope out to see whether there are closer gyms in the area that are accessible by foot. If not then don’t stress, remember it’s about small and achievable swaps, not re-vamping your whole lifestyle all at once.

Don’t forget your reusable water bottle

Purchase a reusable water bottle that you can take to the gym (and everywhere else!). This helps you cut down your plastic use and saves you money as you don’t have to keep buying bottles of water. Another bonus of having a reusable bottle is that you will know how much water it takes and can keep track of your daily water intake. It’s cliche, but drinking enough water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping hydrated also helps reduce the intensity of period pains!

Our favourite reusable water bottles are:

Contigo’s AutoSpout range (these are BPA free!)
Brita (these are BPA free and have a filter to keep your water clean!)

Change up your equipment

Whether it’s barbell pads, yoga mats or resistance bands it’s important to consider what these mainstream pieces of gym equipment are made from. The good news is, there are Eco-friendly alternatives! Grace Fit’s resistance bands, ankle straps and barbell pads are all vegan and don’t use plastic. CORKYOGIS mats are made from cork making them nicer to touch and better for the environment than PVC and plastic ones. Plus the sale of every mat contributes to a training course for girls impacted by human trafficking.

Once you’ve completed your workout

Sustainable swaps can be extended post-workout. If you tend to shower in the gym, you’ll probably notice plastic bottles of shampoo and body wash in your gym bag. We love Faith in Nature’s Grapefruit and Orange body wash. This is vegan, cruelty-free and the bottle is made from recycled plastic (it can be recycled again). If you want to ditch the packaging altogether, soap and shampoo bars are a great alternative. We love these from Atlas and Ortus. If your kit bag needs something more travel-sized, the hair & body soap bar by Friendly Soap is perfect for the job!

We hope this blog has helped inspire you and give you ideas on simple sustainable swaps you can make! Do you have any other recommendations for sustainable swaps for gym workouts? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also drop us a comment below!

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