Written by Ben Moreland of Asuno

You train at the gym to feel the best you can physically, you attend yoga classes to give you mental clarity and improve your flexibility, and you eat healthily to make sure all this effort is not in vain. But did you know your workout can also help save the planet – not just yourself?

Here are five ways you can make a massive difference to the planet – and still get fit and healthy:

1.      Buy ethical active wear

Many brands have made it their ethos to give back to the world either by supporting charities through donations of profit or using sustainable and in some cases recycled materials, to make their activewear. Here are three you could look at next time you’re in the market for a new outfit:

Wolven Threads – activewear made from recycled bottles and inspired by nature, this yoga and stand-up paddleboard brand is removing plastic from the world one item at a time

Asuno – the yoga and activewear brand helping feed malnourished children, providing water to regions in Africa and providing birth certificates to unregistered children through their three charity partners

Spiritual Gangster – a yoga brand dedicated to donating meals to charities in America and around the world for each item purchased

2.      Ditch the plastic bottle

Staying hydrated is no doubt the most important consideration when exercising, yet all that plastic ends up in landfills or worse, in our oceans. Here are some ways you can ditch the plastic and help save the world whilst you stay hydrated:

Ch2oose Water ­­– a UK based water company that not only has gone completely plastic-free with a bio-degradable bottle, and gives 100% of its profits to Water For Africa

S’Well – provide metal water bottles and coolers to stop plastic usage, and also donate to UNICEF, (RED) and other charities from their profits

4Ocean – a company physically removing plastic waste from the sea, have now begun selling re-usable metal water bottles to help rid the world of plastic waste

3.      Raise money for charity

Instead of training without a goal, why not aim for a big charitable event to participate in? With 807,000+ running events, 100,000+ members of British Cycling and 140,000+ participating triathletes in the UK, not to mention all the other charity fitness activities like fun runs, mud runs and mountain challenges, there has never been a better time to push yourself in the name of charity. Here are some of the big ones:

London Marathon, the world’s largest one-day fundraising event sees over 30,000 participants yearly running in the name of charity.

Cancer Research UK (Race for Life), 5K and 10K runs with all charitable donations going to over 200 types of cancer research.

Walk the Walk (Moon Walk), a marathon or half marathon distance walk with all funds raised going towards vital breast cancer research.

4.      Check your training shoes

Even the training shoe companies are getting involved and you’ll be surprised what can be used to make up those shoes that help you excel whilst training. From using all-natural materials to supporting local manufacturers and even helping out in the plastic waste movement, check out some of the training shoe companies that are making it easier to be ethical:

Veja – A French company that makes part of its shoes from recycled plastic bottles; and the upcycling process creates a smart fabric that’s both breathable and waterproof

Ethletic – creates shoes that use Fairtrade materials, such as organic cotton, are 100% vegan, so no animal products are used, and the company ensures fair pay and working conditions for all involved in their manufacture

New Balance – support numerous charitable associations and in particular give $250,000 a year to the Red Cross first responders programme.

5.      Fitness equipment – do you really need it?

With the likes of cross-fit and callisthenics showing us that we need minimal equipment to get a good workout and that our own body weight can be a very inexpensive tool to stay in shape – it’s time to ditch the equipment fads that end up in the cupboard after one use, never to be seen again; it’s not good for the environment or your wallet. Here are a couple more ways to make working out more environmentally friendly:

Cancel the gym membership – Gym’s spend ££££’s on air conditioning each year keeping people cool while they run on treadmills, breathing in processed air. Why not get outside, run in the fresh air and enjoy the world around you, rather than the screen in front of you

Don’t buy equipment fads – We’ve all been suckered in by the latest ‘all in one’ machine that will give you legs like Chris Hoy and a torso like Jason Statham in two days. They don’t work and end up in the bin and then ultimately off to some landfill; so don’t buy them. Your wallet will thank you too

Use your bodyweight – Most of us could get into great shape and build muscle just using our body weight; no need for any equipment at all. Replace the chest press with push-ups, bicep curls with pull-ups, leg press with jumping squats. With fitness currently booming, there are many personal trainers on the Internet who can put you through your paces with little or no equipment in the comfort of your living room or back garden.

Welcome to the world of ethical fitness, it’s time to look good, feel good and do good, and become the best version of yourself in every sense, not just the best athlete.

Ben Moreland is the co-founder of Asuno, a Manchester-based fitness and yoga clothing brand passionate about making an impact on the world. Using the city as inspiration, the team design beautiful, premium quality, functional fitness clothing that saves lives. Every item in the range is linked to an individual charity and each purchase provides a specific action from alleviating hunger to providing access to water and helping children build an identity.

Web: www.asuno-uk.com

Instagram: @asuno.uk

Facebook: /asuno.uk

Asuno Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: https://igg.me/at/asuno