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Go Green: How Outdoor Fitness Training Helps the Environment

Outdoor fitness training allows you to engage the great outdoors in your workouts, and breaks up the monotony of exercising on machines inside. Opting for the elements instead of the indoors also brings with it a range of benefits for the environment. Using the outdoors for your cardio exercise time replaces the lengthy stints you would otherwise take while working out on a high-electricity exercise machine. Developing a routine that involves moving through the outdoors also helps encourage the places you live to be more fitness-friendly. Run, walk, bike, roller blade or swim outside to increase green habits in yourself and the people around you. 

Using Less Electricity

This might be fairly obvious, but every minute you're exercising outdoors is a minute you're not using up electricity, which provides an immediate benefit to the environment. Encouraging your friends to take their fitness routines outside will increase the number of people doing the same. Exercise machines like treadmills, recumbent bicycles, stair machines and ellipticals require a ton of power and voltage to keep on moving, so they burn through an especially high amount of electricity, not to mention the lighting and heating or cooling required for working out inside. The electricity and energy you save in switching to outdoor fitness training might seem small, but when it comes to the environment, every bit helps. 

Transporting Yourself with Natural Energy

Once your ability to move around outdoors is solid, you can use it for dual benefits. Don't just run, bike or walk outside to get your heart rate up and your cardio exercise time in; use those forms of movement to actually get from place to place! Substitute your feet or two wheels for cars, subways or buses when you can. Use that time to still work up a vigorous pace and you'll get a good workout while reducing the gasoline emissions that go into the air. Be selective about when you take the time to work up a sweat while traveling from place to place, though. You probably won't want to get your heart rate too high on the way to work, but if you take the bus or train in the morning and pack some sneakers, you can get a great cardio session in on the way home and still help the environment. Travel by foot or bike when you're running errands or heading the the grocery store. Lugging bags of groceries back will add the extra benefit of strength training. 

Encouraging Foot and Bike Friendly Cities 

An increased number of people who choose the outdoors as their workout platform can serve as incentives for towns and cities to restructure their transportation systems. Heightened demand for sidewalks, streets, parks and paths that are hospitable to runners, cyclists and roller bladers can often push city leaders to develop and improve spaces for those uses. As someone that works out outdoors, you can add to the demand. Better environments and infrastructures for exercising outdoors will encourage others to move their fitness plans there, and will increase the number of people cutting down on electricity and transportation emissions. 

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