Ben Moreland, co-founder of Asuno has looked into sustainable fitness and shares his top tips for working out in a way that works for the planet
Words Ben Moreland, Asuno
You train at the gym to feel the best you can physically, you attend yoga classes to give you mental clarity and improve your flexibility, and you eat healthily to make sure all this effort is not in vain. But did you know your workout can also help save the planet – not just yourself? Here are five ways you can make a difference to the planet while getting fit and healthy:
Buy gym and yoga clothing that supports charities or uses sustainable materials
Many brands have made it their ethos to give back to the world either by supporting charities through donations of profit or using sustainable and in some cases, recycled materials, to make their activewear:
Wolven Threads makes activewear made from recycled bottles and is inspired by nature.
Asuno is the yoga and activewear brand helping feed malnourished children, provide water to regions in Africa and birth certificates to unregistered children, all through their three charity partners.
Spiritual Gangster is a yoga brand dedicated to donating meals to charities in America and beyond for each item purchased
Stay hydrated, but ditch the plastic bottle
Staying hydrated is no doubt the most important consideration when exercising, yet all that plastic ends up in landfills or worse, in our oceans. Here’s how to ditch the plastic:
Ch2oose Water has gone completely plastic-free with a bio-degradable bottle and gives 100% of its profits to Water For Africa
S’Well provides metal water bottles and coolers to stop plastic usage, and donate to UNICEF (RED) and other charities
4Ocean is physically removing plastic waste from the sea, have now begun selling re-usable metal water bottles to help rid the world of plastic waste
Run marathons, triathlons and any other charity event
Instead of training without a goal, why not aim for a big charitable event to participate in? With 807,000+ running events, 100,000+ members of British Cycling and 140,000+ participating triathletes in the UK, plus fun runs, mud runs and mountain challenges, there has never been a better time to push yourself in the name of charity:
London Marathon – 22 April, the world’s largest one-day fundraising event sees over 30,000 participants yearly running for charity.
Cancer Research UK (Race for Life) – 29 July, 5K and 10K runs with all charitable donations going to over 200 types of cancer research.
Walk the Walk (Moon Walk) – 11 May, a marathon or half marathon distance walk with all funds raised going towards vital breast cancer research.
Buy training shoes that use Fairtrade components or give proportions of sales figures to charity
From using all-natural materials to supporting local manufacturers and even helping out in the plastic waste movement, check out some of the ethical training shoe companies:
Veja makes breathable and waterproof shoes from recycled plastic bottles
Ethletic creates shoes that use Fairtrade materials, such as organic cotton, are 100% vegan, and the company ensures fair pay and working conditions for all involved in their manufacture
New Balance supports numerous charitable associations including giving $250,000 a year to the Red Cross first responders programme.
Fitness equipment, who needs it anyway?
It’s time to ditch the equipment fads that end up in the cupboard after one use, never to be seen again; it’s not good for the environment or your wallet. Here are a couple more ways to make working out more environmentally friendly:
Cancel the gym membership: Gym’s spend ££££’s on air conditioning each year keeping people cool while they run on treadmills, breathing in processed air. Why not get outside, run in the fresh air and enjoy the world around you.
Don’t buy equipment fads: We’ve all been suckered in by the latest ‘all in one’ machine. You know they don’t work – so don’t buy them!
Use your bodyweight: Replace the chest press with push-ups; bicep curls with pull-ups; leg press with jumping squats. Check the Internet for YouTube personal trainers who can put you through your paces with little or no equipment in the comfort of your living room or back garden.
Welcome to the world of ethical fitness, it’s time to look good, feel good and do good, and become the best version of yourself in every sense, not just the best athlete.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Moreland is a co-founder of Asuno, a Manchester-based fitness and yoga clothing brand passionate about making an impact on the world. Using the city as inspiration, the team design beautiful, premium quality, functional fitness clothing that saves lives. Every item in the range is linked to an individual charity and each purchase provides a specific action from alleviating hunger to providing access to water and helping children build an identity. asuno-uk.com