MOVE WELL – Get fit and go Green with environmentally friendly exercise.

If you make a special effort during your everyday life to buy sustainable food products, avoid unnecessary journeys in your car and recycle your rubbish, then why not also try and exercise in a green manner too?

Instead of driving to your gym or exercise class and using electric machines while you are there, you could make the most of natural resources and incorporate them into your workout, something that may also be particularly enjoyable while the weather is nice.

Natural England is one organisation in the UK that is trying to get people involved in green exercise, which is any form of physical activity that can be done outdoors.

It points out that this can include a vast array of activities, from cycling and walking to kite-flying and organised conservation projects.

For people who simply like to use treadmills and exercise bikes, it will be really easy to become more environmentally-friendly. Just swap the gym for a run or bike ride around your local park and you’ll be burning the same calories (maybe even more if you’re on rough terrain) without having to add to your carbon footprint. You’ll also have the added benefit of being able to breathe fresh air.

In order to incorporate exercise into your daily life, you could also try joining a cycle to work scheme rather than driving or getting the bus. Many workplaces up and down the country now run these and once you get used to it, you’ll barely even realise you’re getting a workout.

However, it is well-known that variety is the spice of life, so don’t just stick to walking, running and cycling. You could also get involved with horse-riding, fishing and boating – there are sure to be organisations near you that offer lessons and group excursions, so have a look around to see what you can join to get fit without harming the ozone layer.

If you like the idea of actively helping the environment as well as not adding to emissions, then volunteering on a nature project may be for you. Clearing a community garden, litter-picking or carrying out wildlife surveys all involve physical work but are also a great way to make friends and occupy your mind too.

And with recent Environmental Science and Technology journal research suggesting that just five minutes exercising in a green space can boost mental health, it may not just be your body and the environment that see the benefits!