Why exercising could be bad for the environment

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winter_exercise_indoorYou can always count on Small Footprints to provide me with some serious food for thought.

For this week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge we’re looking at our exercise routine.

As if a dislike of exercise isn’t enough to contend with, I feel like Small Footprints wants to take away the tiny amount of enjoyment I DO get!

She’s reminded us that during the winter months when we might move our exercise routines indoors, this can often mean a reliance on electronic gadgetry. Some of us have electric treadmills, work out in front of the TV or plug ourselves into our favourite music.

Well for Heart Month I’ve been committed to a fitness regime. Yes we go outdoors as a family for a couple of walks per day but I’m also getting up first thing to use the treadmill. It is a human-powered one, so no trouble there, BUT I walk on there either with my MP3 so I can listen to some motivational music or I have learned the art of multitasking – I walk on the treadmill and check my emails on my ipad!

I have to say both of these help me pass the 15 minutes or so of walking and I’m reluctant to give up my distractions.

The other thing I’ve started doing is a fitness DVD. I love the fact someone is there telling me I’m doing well, encouraging me to keep on going and generally having a bit of fun. Yes I know she’s not talking to ME, but it sure helps.

Would I jump on the treadmill for 15 minutes and do a workout on my own without the technology to help me?

Possibly not.

I even have a couple of toning exercise apps on my iPad that I do with Little Miss Green and I seriously don’t think we would just do the exercises without the apps. The other thing we do is crank up the music and dance around the dining room.

Well it’s certainly opened my eyes I can tell you. I had never stopped to think of how reliant I am on technology to do something as simple as move my body.

So I’ll compromise. Going out for our daily walks is a no-brainer, there’s no technology involved (unless you take into account my battery-powered timer that goes with me). I can walk on the treadmill when Mr Green is in his office; I can have a conversation with him while I’m working out – that might be rather fun.

As for the fitness DVD and the apps, I’m not ready to give them up. I find sticking to regular exercise such an issue in itself that frankly I need all the help I can get.

For this week then, it’s a 50/50 success but I’m amazed just how much technology I’m using and it’s been fantastic to have that awareness. Thanks Small Footprints!

What about you – do you use electronic equipment to help you exercise or do you have some ‘off grid’ favourites?


  1. nadine sellers on February 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    i–almost–envy those who are dedicated to exercise..and admire you..
    as for self..i find every excuse to dig in the garden, build things and climb stuff, cart wheelbarrow full of heavy bricks and dirt to import to my hillside plot..THAT is my exercise.

    it’s a simple strategy to multitask..a yogic pull, a pilates yank, an isometric stretch and hold..and i even dance when no one is looking..
    oh, how i would envy you if i didn’t know that i must have made my choice long ago (for some self preserving reason)..it works, sans technology.

  2. Small Footprints on February 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Before Katie suggested this challenge, I really never thought about the energy used during workouts. I kind of felt that anything which got me moving was a good thing. So I cranked up the music or popped in a DVD. I decided to give Katie’s suggestion a true shot and discovered something interesting … if I meditated while working out … a mindful meditation where I focused on every movement and how it felt and how I was breathing, etc. … well, the time went extremely fast and it was so relaxing. It was quite a revelation and I think I might try to keep it up. 🙂

  3. Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction on February 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Excellent points. Honest to goodness, I never really thought about this before.

    That is one of the things that I really love about running: it can be done with such minimal gear – shoes and the outdoors. Spending an hour or two every few days just getting in touch with the world has done wonders for me mentally and physically.

    That said, it is February and I’m in Wisconsin. It is 9 degrees and the sidewalks are covered in snow. This time of year, I do retreat to the treadmill when I feel I need to get a good run in, although I’ve been moving more towards a yoga practice this time of year – nothing more than me and my mat. To me, there’s a lot of value in the miminalism.

  4. Mrs Green on February 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    @nadine sellers: I think your ideas are brilliant and to be honest this is where I would like to get to myself. My trouble is I can spend literally hours at the computer each day so I have to make the discipline of getting up and moving. Not exactly a ‘natural’ lifestyle is it?!

    @Small Footprints: that sounds wonderful SF; thank you for sharing. I did manage to meditate while walking this weekend and it was magical but it took a lot of effort to stay there..

    @Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction: I know I always feel wonderful when I do yoga, so why don’t I do more of it I wonder. Gosh I’m good at sabotaging this area of my life…

  5. All Natural Katie on February 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I took a walk the other day with no music (just the watch to time) and I felt very satisfied afterwards. I thought about my day and even though I did not have any revelations, I still felt relaxes. Sometimes music prevents us from digesting all of the challenges of the day.

  6. Kris on February 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I think it’s way more important to get in a workout than to stop using the technology you use to help you get through it. The devices you are using don’t use that much energy and your health far outweighs what it does. I also use dvd’s. Well..not right now, but when I’m able to I will be using them again. They are a great way to get in an excellent workout.

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