Why Fitness Participants Should Care About the Environment

It’s real. The Earth is sick. There are more humans, producing more carbon, than in the history of the planet. And we should all care. A lot.


If you exercise outdoors, you will notice. Since I’ve lived in Florida, in my relatively short lifetime, we’ve experienced a greater number of Major Hurricanes than have ever been recorded. This is due to an overall sustained increase in the temperature of the ocean. Like fishing or diving? You’ll get more green algae blooms and red tides, which kill off marine life. Like watersports? The ocean is warmer and more volatile than ever. And, sea level is rising as there is enhanced glacial melt. I know, I’ve seen it firsthand. I watched massive sheets of ice fall into the water on my Alaska cruise last year. This summer, I visited Glacier National Park, where there are only 23 active glaciers remaining. Think that doesn’t matter? Think again.

Like skiing, snowboarding, hiking or walking outside? The global change in climate is completely changing the seasons. There are fewer and fewer sustained cold snaps. This means less snow. And no, climate change doesn’t mean it doesn’t still get cold, it means it doesn’t get cold as long as it historically has. If you are a hunter or nature watcher, you will see changes in the behavior and number of animals. They’re being forced to travel higher and further to find food and habitat. Much of this is due to our development of land for farming, agriculture, and building. Less game, more conventional farming also means a decrease in food nutritive quality (but that’s a topic for another blog post).

Increase global tamps also mean increases in fire. Fire that affects forested areas can be catastrophic. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide, and breathe out oxygen. They provide us with the very oxygen we need to breathe and survive. Burning trees release carbon dioxide (and carbon) into the air, increasing the global temperature even more.

We can and must do more to preserve the planet. As a fitness professional who spends a ton of time outdoors, I see firsthand the impact of humanity on climate change. Here are some things you can do to personally reduce your impact:

  1. Drive less, walk and bicycle more. That’s right, walking and biking leave a zero carbon impact, and they are both good for you.
  2. Grow your own organic garden. By using foods that grow well in your climate, you can eliminate the use of pesticides. Compost you leftover food.
  3. Stop using single use plastics. Buy mason jars and glass for storage of food, use bamboo toothbrushes and straws.
  4. Clean up your neighborhood. Get outside and clean up the hood you live in. Participate or organize a beach, canal, river, or bay cleanup.
  5. Buy organic game meats from smaller local farms or from local hunters, or hunt your own game. You’ll increase your palate, provide your body with much higher quality meat, and will get a variety of micronutrients you don’t see in conventional farming. Additionally, you will decrease the carbon cost of transportation of goods.
  6. Get outdoors and organize walks or exercise events in your environment. Make it a point to learn to appreciate what you have, and make every effort to maintain it through proper ecological practices!

Whether you believe or don’t believe that the planet is warming as a result of our behavior, it doesn’t matter. Science says it is. And even if you don’t agree with the science, it’s up to each and every one of us to make this planet inhabitable, and better, if possible, than how we found it. We have to do it for our children and our children’s children.



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