Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Go Greener with Your Active Fitness Options: Woofing Wednesday Has Your Plan

Eco-friendly folks looking to stay active and healthy have long known that our most successful options for getting and staying in shape come through FUN, CHALLENGING fitness activities. In other words, the old mantra “Feel the Burn” doesn’t necessarily have to fit your choice. More and more people who maintain a slim and toned body through activity find that their best route to this goal is through activities that involve the concept of FLOW, as written about by the author, Csikszentmihalyi, in his book by the same name. According to WikipediaFlow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. 

I’ve done a little analysis of many of the popular activities that evoke this state of mind. Following is a chart that shows an estimate of the cost of each and three levels of Eco-friendliness.

Legend of cost symbols:
$ = Free to minimal cost
$$ = $10-$50 per session
$$$ = (Considerable expense in equipment, lessons, gasoline or travel)

Greenest Options
$ - Walk, bike, rollerblade or jog
$ - Video or TV exercise classes to do at home

Less Green, More Costly Choices
$$ - Step and other aerobics classes
$$ - Wall Climbing, in nature or on an inside wall; also classes
$$ - Martial arts classes
$$ - Yoga and pilates classes
$$ - Ballet, tap, jazz, Jazzercise classes
$$ - Pole dancing, belly dancing, and other exotic dancing classes
$$ - Ballroom dancing and classes
$$ - Conditioning classes: weights, abs, bands, etc.
$$ - Dog agility and other dog activity classes and competitions
$$ - Team sports: softball, tennis, baseball, bowling, football, etc. (some could be $$+)

Ouch! Neither Green Nor Cheap
$$$ - Dirt biking
$$$ - Water Skiing (club or team makes this more affordable; boat ownership is much more expensive)
$$$ - Snow Skiing: Travel, lift tickets,  and equipment rental or purchase all add up to considerable expense unless you live in a ski resort area and/or work for a ski resort.
$$$ - Hockey team competitions (equipment and ice time is quite costly)
$$$ - Competing in most $$ and $$$ categories adds to the expense.
$$$ - Sky Diving

I suppose it is no surprise that your greenest and least expensive options for exercise are walking, jogging, rollerblading and biking.

One final note about motivation…Unless you are naturally driven to exercise daily, owning a dog is a wonderful way to add dimension to your life and give yourself a reason to walk, jog or bike. Dogs need daily exercise to maintain a calm energy level and healthy mental and physical condition. When you bond with a dog that depends on you for his care and support, you will find it enjoyable to give him some of that fabulous unconditional love in return for his devotion. Can you tell I like dogs?

If you, too, are a dog lover, I invite you to read my other blog, All Things Dog Blog, where I focus on helping dog owners fulfill their dogs’ and their own happiness with many ways of bonding and enjoying one another, which often leads to flow during pleasurable joint activities.

For more tips on green living, visit Central Florida Green Guide, where my new guest post has just been released, LIVING LIKE ED: A BOOK REVIEW.

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