For most people, achieving better health and wellness comes down to increasing our activity levels. Too many of us spend too much time sitting at our desks or behind the wheel of our automobiles. To improve health, we must find ways to sit less and move more.
While traditional exercise is always an effective way to get into shape, those with deep concerns over the current state of the environment may want to combine the two into one game plan. It turns out there are many eco-friendly activities that support better health and wellness. Let’s take a look at six popular options:
Did you know gardening burns 200-400 calories per hour? That makes it an excellent way to improve health through moderate activity. What’s more, gardening can be an effective method of reducing your carbon footprint. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you buy less produce being trucked in from thousands of miles away. An eco-friendly garden also helps local wildlife by providing them with a quiet place to flourish. Birds, bees, and other creatures that struggle to survive in a world of concrete, metal, and grass will find refuge in your modern-day garden of Eden.
Litter isn’t just an eyesore; it’s an ecological disaster. Trash thrown into the streets will eventually make its way into lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as into the stomachs of various creatures. Cleaning up litter in your neighborhood or nearest park for an hour or so is sure to burn calories, but why stop there? Those interested in getting into the best shape of their lives should try plogging. First started in Sweden in 2016, plogging combines jogging with picking up litter. Ploggers consider the frequent stops, bends, and detours to the closest trash can to be part of the workout. It’s an effective way to promote health and wellness while helping Mother Nature.
An extended walk through hilly terrain – popularly known as hiking – is a great way to get into shape while also taking in the beauty of the natural world. While hiking might not sound eco-friendly, considering your encroachment into the wild, your activity on the trail will help the forest in more ways than you think. For instance, spores and seedlings commonly hitch a ride on passing animals to be deposited far from their point of origin. Meanwhile, you’re too busy burning calories to notice your socks and shoes are becoming temporary shuttles for organic lifeforms. Given the likelihood of venturing miles from the nearest road, hikers should always pack a small kit of basic supplies, including water, first aid, and CBD muscle cream for cramps. These and other essential supplies will fit into your backpack, along with binoculars and other tools used to appreciate the wonders of nature. Just make sure to abide by the adage, “Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.”
If you love hiking, consider taking it one step further and camping over the weekend. Walking to and from the campsite, pitching the tent, starting the fire, and venturing away during the day are guaranteed calorie burners. While inserting a man-made tent and other artificial items into the forest sounds like the opposite of being eco-friendly, it’s only harmful if you leave trash behind or cause damage to your surroundings. Ethical, eco-friendly camping involves constant respect for the natural world. If you leave the campsite looking precisely like it did when you arrived, you’ve done your job.
Riding a bicycle for an hour or more is a fun and exciting way to exercise. Bicycles are also an emissions-free form of transportation, making bike rides an eco-friendly activity. Just follow traffic laws and never ride your bike without wearing a helmet. It sounds like the advice your mom would nag you about growing up, but that’s because it’s valid. I don’t know about you, but cracking my skull open after falling onto concrete sounds the opposite of health and wellness!
Many people have a habit of eating out several days a week. It’s common for folks to rely almost entirely on heavily packaged “ready-made meals” with minimal prep required. While convenient, packaged foods are typically unhealthy and far from eco-friendly. By making a point to cook more often, you’ll simultaneously eat healthier and reduce your carbon footprint.
Staying active is the key to healthier living. Eco-friendly choices are essential for a healthier environment. So why not combine the two?
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