Green Up Your Exercise Routine

“Green exercise” might seem redundant to the uninformed person — bikes don’t emit carbons, and jogging doesn’t use electricity. But for those Americans who face limited time or occasional inclement weather, exercise machines hold wide appeal. And while exercise bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals and treadmills can provide good workouts, they also consume energy.

Gym owners understand that their clients are becoming more eco-conscious. However, getting rid of old fitness equipment — even 12 power-sucking treadmills that run 12 hours a day — could seriously hurt business. Luckily, some manufacturers are looking to aid the environmentalist gym-rat crowd.

SportsArt Fitness, a designer and manufacturer of cardiovascular fitness equipment, recently launched its Eco-Powr motor system. Treadmills featuring the Eco-Powr motor system use up to 32 percent less energy than conventional treadmills. A gym who replaces 12 treadmills with Eco-Powr treadmills stands to save over $3,000 a year in energy bills. SportsArt also makes self-generating cycles and ellipticals that run without electricity. Their Web resource,, allows people to calculate what their savings would be by simply switching their equipment to Eco-Powr machines.

SportsArt Fitness offers the following tips to green fitness enthusiasts who want to take steps to improve their health while also protecting the environment:

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Commute by walking or biking. The fittest people exercise before and after the gym, too. Choosing to walk or bike will help conserve fossil fuels while also burning calories. If you must commute a long distance, try fitting in walks on your lunch break or at other times of the day.

Choose eco-friendly, physical leisure activities. Gardening helps reduce stress and beautify lawns. Instead of relaxing in front of the television, play catch with the kids or jog or hike along a nature trail. Urban exercise counts, too. Walk to perform simple errands, or find a park in which to exercise.

Find equipment made from eco-friendly materials. Look for resistance brands made from bio-degradable materials. Wear gym socks made from Merino wool or organic cotton, and choose bamboo over foam yoga blocks.