With Covid pushing us out of our gyms and towards alternative exercise methods, it makes sense that outdoor activities have skyrocketed over the last year. From biking to running, and walking, using the outdoors to stay fit has become essential, and looking for the best spots has become our only form of recreation.
So how, on a global scale, can we figure out which countries have it the best? A study carried out by Reebok has not only considered factors like walking, running, or biking path options, but they have also looked to sustainability: revealing the best cities to visit and live in to partake in eco-friendly exercise, considering the percentage of bicycle usage, the number of hiking & running trails, number of sunlight hours, the best gym equipment for low carbon emissions and more.
Check out the ranking below.
|Ranking||City||Percentage of bike usage||Number of running routes||Number of sunlight hours||Number of hiking trails||Pollution index||Search volume of eco-friendly exercises|
|7||Tel Aviv, Israel||9%||320||3,311||10||46.98||530|
According to a study done by Women’s Health UK, 72% of gym-goers are saying that they won’t return post lockdown after adapting to home workouts.
Awareness of the environmental impact of gyms is also increasing, Dr Folusha Oluwajana Head of Personal Training, Exercise and GP commented; “Many gyms have a range of electrically powered equipment, high-wattage lighting and air-conditioning, and some are now open 24/7.”
“Eco-friendly workouts are free and can often be done close to home, as well as providing the physical and mental health benefits of getting outside, exposure to fresh air and vitamin D in the spring and summer.”
When analysing the state of sustainability within exercise, the research found the following 30 cities were the best locations for adapting an eco-friendly exercise regime based on a variety of metrics from bicycle usage and sunlight hours to the number of running and hiking routes.
Tokyo claimed first place as the most eco-friendly city to workout. This is no surprise as thecity boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the study along with over 1,500 running routes.
Sydney was the runner-up claiming second place, with one of the highest number of sunlight hours along with 1,833 running routes and 323 hiking trails.
Abigail Ireland, performance strategist comments on how to be more environmentally conscious when working out, “We often feel the urge to invest in the latest gadgets and equipment to stay motivated and stimulated to work out. Bringing it back to basics, we only really need our bodies.”
When considering eco-friendly workout options, Abigail Ireland, performance strategist suggested, “Appreciating what Mother Nature has to offer us is always worthwhile. Go for an outdoor jog, and even try out the Swedish approach of ‘plogging’, where you can combine jogging with picking up litter on your route!”
When looking at the emission totals from manufacturing gym workout equipment, our study found that making your own dumbbells ranked as the best equipment for the environment. Producing just 0.4kg carbon emissions per unit and using Polyethylene as the main material make DIY dumbbells a great choice when using eco-friendly equipment.
Popular items such as exercise yoga balls and yoga mats fall in second and third place in thestudy. Made from PVC, these items produce just 0.6kg and 0.7kg of carbon emissions respectively.
We asked experts to share their advice on what exercises and equipment are the best forreducing your carbon footprint.
Abigail Ireland, performance strategist comments, “Calisthenic workouts are amazing forstrength, agility, stamina and all-round fitness so definitely doing more bodyweight exercises goes a long way whilst creating no carbon footprint.
“When investing in equipment, opt for long-lasting fundamentals like dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and resistance bands that offer you a huge variety of workout options without requiring electricity.”