Looking to relieve some of that guilt surrounding your New Year's resolutions? Sick of having to go somewhere to exercise? Maya's got you covered.
Today I want to talk about one of the most common new year's resolutions: exercise. As I'm sure you all know, working out is a hot topic right now with so many gyms being closed, exercise classes being cancelled, and other fitness centers shutting down. But maybe this isn't a bad thing? Let me explain. In the context of low waste, or sustainability in general, a lot of exercise habits aren't super eco-friendly. Consider this: you join a gym that is 25 minutes away. This means that you have to drive a total of 50 minutes just to workout! People! Working out doesn't mean that you have to go to a designated fitness center. Think about the amazing facility that is right outside of your front door! The great outdoors is nature's playground, and it's a great space to get moving. Go for a walk, a run, or try doing a yoga flow outside. These activities are amazing, and they're free; they're much more accessible, and they're eco-friendly. They don't require us to get in a car and drive 50 minutes. Additionally, getting outside and breathing in fresh air increases our productivity and is great for our mental health.
TIP: Try to remember that moving our body doesn't need to be so complicated!
Something else to keep in mind is that with everything being online now, virtual workout tutorials, classes, and training sessions are super accessible. I mean sure being in a gym or participating in an in-person class "hits differently", but just think about how much more convenient it is to do a workout at home! It saves time, you don't have to worry about sharing equipment, and you save money! If you like training with others (like I do) try doing a workout with a friend over zoom, or invite them over (if quarantine regulations authorize this). The great thing about this whole lockdown thing is that you can experiment with new forms of movement, and you can tailor your workouts to suit your lifestyle! So, next time you're about to exercise, try to simplify things and take advantage of the environment around you :)
TIP: Here's a workout that I did the other day...try it out if you want a killer ab and leg workout. Let me know in the comments below if you give it a go!
One last thing...you know how every fitness center is requiring members to wipe down the equipment after each use? Well, have you also noticed that a lot of places are using paper towel for this? Think about how much waste this is creating! If you want to reduce your ecological footprint, throw a small towel or sanitizing cloth in your gym bag, and substitute this for the paper towel. Make sure you run this by your fitness center before you do this though, as every facility has its own regulations!
Overall, this has been a strange 12 months...for everyone. As my mom always says though, "this too shall pass", and in the meantime, let's be kind to ourselves and use this time to adopt some low-waste exercise habits!
Here are some things that I want to leave you with:
-Remember that it's okay if you haven't gotten round to those New Year's resolutions yet...join the club!
-Be kind to yourself!
-It's never too late to start something!
-Consider trying some at-home workouts. Check out free YouTube videos, sign up for an online class, or create your own workout.
-Don't forget about nature's playground! It's free, great for your mental health, and better for the environment (if it reduces travel).
-If you're going to join a gym or any other fitness center, try joining one that is easily accessible (i.e. you can walk or transit there).
-Ask your gym and/or fitness center if you can bring your own cleaning towel.
Take care of yourselves loves! Until next time.
Maya is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Sustainability and Sociology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. She enjoys spending time outside, going for walks with friends, and hanging out by the ocean. Maya enjoys exercise and is committed to trying new activities in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys writing, singing, watching movies with friends, and reading. Make sure to check out Maya's 2021 adventures on instagram @maya.macnab.