Believe it or not, exercise can help the environment! It might not be something you’ve ever really thought about, but it can. There are several different ways that you can help towards it, and you might even do some of them without realising it. It’s an amazing thing to get on board with wherever you can; you can really help to make a huge difference just by making a few small changes to your training or even trying something new!

“Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.”

Steve Jobs

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Commuting
  2. Sustainable Exercising
  3. Plogging
  4. Apps
  5. Sponsored Exercise

1. Commuting

woman cycling to work to help the environment

One of the most commonly used ways to do this that you might not really think about from an environmental point of view is commuting. If you change up your commute to work, whether it’s walking or cycling the full distance or walking to the bus stop in the morning to reduce your carbon footprint, you’re helping the environment!

Using different methods like these helps you to do anything, from making a little change to your cardiovascular health to getting a full workout on your way to work! What more could you ask for! There are more benefits than this too! Using them can help you to miss out traffic and provide you with a convenient way for you to save time by not having to fit in a workout as well as a journey!

2. Sustainable Exercising

Older couple jogging through a park

Staying with how your exercise can help the environment directly, there are other ways you can change up your workouts to be better for the environment too. It may seem obvious when you think about it, but it does make sense.

If you are going to the gym every day, for example, to use the cardio equipment, try using the real-world version instead. Cycling, running, stepping, even rowing if you can. You’ll save yourself the probable drive to the gym and then the energy needed to run the gym or equipment!

Even using equipment at home instead can contribute, or throwing in the odd bodyweight workout from home! All these tiny things can have a massive impact in the long run! Running and cycling again are great ways to get the eco exercise ball rolling.

3. Plogging

two ladies jogging and collecting litter at the same time. This is called Plogging

If running is taking your fancy, you could even try out plogging. (You did read that right.) Plogging is a new trending fitness-fuelled way to help make a healthier body and a healthier planet at the same time!

It is spreading more and more, and it’s an incredibly efficient way to have a really direct way of not only helping to reduce the emissions that can come from exercising commercially and minimising the damage that’s done to the environment on a general level.

The idea behind it is to essentially litter pick while you jog. Run or walk somewhere you like, or even somewhere you feel might need the attention and go to town on the mess. Pick up recyclable waste and put it where it belongs to help stop littering and plastic wastage, as well as cleaning up the community you’re in. Efficiency at its finest!

4. Apps

woamn sat checking her phone mid-workout

There are more indirect ways that your exercise can help the environment outside of what it is you’re doing. Once you get creative with how you’re exercising, or if you aren’t really feeling any of the ideas above, you can download apps that donate money to environmental causes just for working out.

There is a massive range of apps that offer this kind of service, so you can pick the one that works for you and not have to change any of your habits. Small changes make a big difference after all, and this means you can help prevent more damage from being done too. Use it alongside the other methods, and you’re pretty much an eco-superhuman.

5. Sponsored Exercise

Group of people preparing to do a sponsored run

Following the same kind of idea of getting money raised for environmentally friendly causes, you can take an even more direct approach. Instead of using your app alongside your training to help you both grow, you can do something huge and raise publicity as well as money for charity and get yourself in shape at the same time.

Some of the best examples of this revolve around a fitness milestone, like losing weight or running a marathon, climbing a mountain, whatever you like. If you give the sponsorship money to an eco-charity, you can really make some huge waves. Greenpeace is a good example, as well as other charities like Siera Club Foundation and Ocean Conservancy. It’s all down to your preference!

Ultimately, there is a number of changes you can make to your training, from the gigantic to the tiny, and they all mean that your exercise can help the environment. Even if it’s not something you’re passionate about, you’re doing a good thing for yourself and the world. That’s motivation enough.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.