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Keeping Fit and Protecting the Environment


By Scott Gray

Why not help the environment, save on gas, generate less greenhouse gas, and burn more calories, all at the same time? What a win-win situation — improving not only the health of the world, but your health as well.

Follow some of these simple ways to save the environment and also improve your own fitness:

  • Walk: For shorter distances why not walk? Starting up the car and driving it around the block, to the local shops, or the school, can use a lot of fuel. Walk the kids to school. Everyone will benefit, and you will be able to listen to your children attentively instead of concentrating on traffic. Your children will also burn up a few calories as well, which is no bad thing with the global childhood obesity pandemic.
  • Ride your bike: For distances that are too far to walk, riding a bike is another extremely environmentally friendly form of transportation. You will be amazed at how much fuel you will save in a week by biking to the office instead of driving. Riding a bike is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your aerobic fitness.
  • Take the stairs: It’s a great substitute for a StairMaster. Your legs and buttocks will get a real workout, while you in turn are not using the power needed to drive an elevator or step machine.
  • Jog or run: These are great ways to exercise and improve aerobic fitness. Why use your treadmill or running machine when you can use the great outdoors when the weather is nice? Not only are you getting fresh air in your lungs, but you will also be reducing your electric bill.
  • Hang your wash on the line: Why waste all that power when the sun can dry your wet laundry for free? Hanging up all that laundry is actually a great upper arm workout. Drying laundry on a clothesline will significantly reduce your electric bill.
  • Join a green gym: Why not do your workout in a “green gym.” These have just started opening up and actually use the power created from the exercise bikes to run the gym’s electrical equipment, such as the TVs, stereo, and lighting. The stationary bikes are all connected to a motor that captures the produced power and utilizes it to charge batteries used to run the smaller appliances. What a great idea — keeping fit, burning calories, and fueling the TV! Look for an environmentally conscious gym in your area soon. They are opening up all over the place.
  • Garden: Get those arm muscles toned and strong by spreading mulch or compost on your garden beds. Using the shovel will give you a great workout, and the compost ensures you will not need to use quite so much water on your garden.
  • Pedal your own generator: There are now eco-friendly generators that are powered by pedaling. The longer you pedal, the more power you produce. Forty-five minutes pedaling can produce enough energy to power a laptop, fluorescent lights, and other small electrical items. Imagine what a whole family pedaling on one of these bike generators could power in a day.
  • Clean up recreational areas: While out walking, take along a grocery bag and pick up any trash you spot along the way. The park will look better for your efforts, and you will feel fitter and more productive. You may want to wear heavy-duty gloves for this task to protect your hands.
  • Volunteer: Many areas are looking for volunteers to help clean areas in their community. You get a great workout and help save the environment.

There are many ways to save the environment while improving your own fitness at the same time. Burn calories, not fuel that creates greenhouse gases. Everyone will benefit.

Scott Gray is an educational writer and publisher of

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