Tag Archives: Running

Just Get Out: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Exercise

Just Get Out: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Exercise

Forest to show the environment

Exercising and caring for the environment are two things that are becoming more entwined in our society with more people looking to be environmentally friendly in their lifestyles. Lots of people often struggle with the idea of eco-friendly exercise and we’re here to say…just get outdoors!

By now, we all know we need to reduce our carbon footprint by making changes to our lifestyles; we know it’s better to walk to work than drive and we know we should stop silently cursing restaurants for their paper straws. We also know we need to stop drinking so many plastic bottles of water at the gym and stop replenishing our gym equipment so often. We’re here to help and give you all the tips you need for eco-friendly exercise.


walking outdoors

Walking is perhaps the simplest form of exercise with little to no impact on the environment and can take you to some beautiful places! Whether you’re looking to escape into the tranquillity of the countryside or wander through the streets of your hometown, walking can be fabulously interesting and calming. It can help you build your fitness and gives you a stress-free break from your day.


Top Tip – Use a route planner to discover new adventures and find the public bridleways meandering the countryside


If you’re looking for eco-friendly walking shoes, these Vivo Bare Foot shoes come highly recommended by us. They’re even used by some of the countries’ best explorers, including Ed Stafford, who became the first man to walk the Amazon

If you want  to push yourself on your walks, try adding ankle weights. Incorporating weights into even a gentle walk can really help tone muscles throughout the full body, and help you burn more calories if you’re looking to lose weight. These Davina Ankle Weights are a great investment – made of neoprene, they’re not as environmentally friendly as others, but are extremely durable and won’t need replacing so often. If you’re looking to lessen your environmental impact, buying durable products is a good place to start.


running outdoors

Running is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and lose weight, and is accessible to all fitness levels. It has been shown to largely improve mental wellbeing and reduce stress, and can be brilliant for anxiety and depression. Why not get out for a jog and see how you feel afterwards

It’s important to stay hydrated whilst running – eco-friendly water bottles are the way forward; using stainless steel, these Gaiam Water Bottles keep your water cooler for longer and have a mouth wide enough for ice cubes to tackle the cold-water cravings.


outdoor yoga mountain pose

Yoga is a wonderful way to connect your mind and body with the earth. It’s easy for everyone to have a go at – you don’t have to be as bendy as you think! Be sure to incorporate a little yoga flow into your day to calm the mind, stretch the body and gently lift your carbon footprint from the earth with this natural occurring, sustainable cork yoga mat.

Whatever exercise you love to do, take it outdoors and use the environment to refresh your mind.


Top Tip – If you’re lucky enough to live near a local farmers market, check out their eco-friendly goods for your post-workout greens!



Going For Gold: A Comprehensive Guide To Starting Running

The most frequent question I am asked is ‘how do you get started running?’. Surely if you can walk then you can also run? Whilst running may seem simple to get started (well for the majority it is) there are a few basic tips I would like to recommend to help you train more efficiently. 

Whether you are a complete beginner or a casual jogger, we’ve put together 5 top tips which will help you to get going! 

Interested in a specific part? Skip right ahead  
1.0 Find The Perfect Shoe:
2.0 Be Realistic With Your Goal:
3.0 Preparing To Start
– 4.0 Listen To Your Body:
5.0 Most Importantly… Have Fun: 

Benefits Of Running: 
What’s great about running? Compared to other sports/exercises you may encounter, running simply doesn’t require much equipment to start off with – whether you partake on a treadmill or simply hit the streets, the option is entirely yours to make!

1: Find The Perfect Shoe:
Whilst it may be tempting to pick up a generic running shoe that is on offer at your local sports shop, we highly recommend that you get measured by a specialist. Whilst this is likely the more expensive option; as a runner, you’ll encounter almost every surface imaginable (depending on your location) from grass to concrete. Having shoes that have been adequately measured will ensure your foot is best cushioned for the impact it endures.

In the case of myself, I started out with an old pair of trainers I had lying around, whilst I thought this was quite sufficient – I quickly found I was getting a sharp pain in the instep of my foot which forced me to be sidelined for a couple of weeks. 

Photo by sporlab on Unsplash

2: Be Realistic With Your Goal:
As the classic saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ and nor is your first 5k!

If you are starting out from the very beginning, your first weeks into running may feel very difficult – that’s perfectly ok. Whilst everyone trains at their own pace, set yourself small goals to achieve – you may find many training plans posted online, spend time before you start to really find one that’s best for you.

We recommend starting out with two-mile runs for the first 4 weeks of your schedule – increasing the distance only once you’re consistently running that distance comfortably.  Should you struggle with pacing, we highly recommend that you check out the NHS couch to 5k app, this program alternates walking and running to help you build you up with the end goal of pushing you to run 5k (3.1 miles) after just 9 weeks! 

For me personally, I started running during my Erasmus year in Sevilla. I started with very little experience of running long distances and I didn’t really know where to begin. Thankfully, I happened to live 2 minutes away from the Guadalquivir river that had a 9.4km route marked out. Whilst I initially struggled to break the 3.2 km (2 miles) barrier, I found that after two months of training – 3-4 times per week, I was able to push myself further with a consistent 9.6 km (6 miles) run several times per week. 

It is noted: whilst this schedule worked for me – this may not be adequate for you. 

How I progressed during my training: left (week 1) – right (week 15)

3: Preparing To Start:
So – you’ve got your route, playlist and water (optional) sorted, that’s a great start. However, before you even think about lacing your shoes, take 5-10 minutes to properly warm up. Research shows that as many as 79% of all runners (regardless of skill) will get injured at least once per calendar year. Much of this can be avoided by simply taking the time to loosen up and mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. 

What should you focus on in this warmup? Ideally, you should focus on stretching your legs (as shown in the image) and slowly elevating your heart rate to minimise the strain once you begin – take a couple of minutes to walk at a brisk pace before setting off.

Personally, I like to use this time to focus my mind. Regardless of what you have done so far in the day or what you have to sort when you’re finished, put this to the back of your mind as you focus on achieving your goal.  

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

4: Listen To Your Body:
We’ve all been there – 300 metres away from achieving that new personal best, but your body is telling you that it simply cannot go any further… listen. Not every session will result in you achieving a personal best – as a new runner, it is important that you learn to stick with your training plan and most importantly listen to what your body is telling you, don’t ignore them nagging pains. Whilst it may be frustrating to end your session, you could be preventing a serious injury

As I was training for my first 10k, I was coming extremely close to achieving my goal – I had gone 9k during my previous sessions quite comfortably and thought I would go the full distance. As I reached the 9.5km mark, a sharp pain in my left knee started. Instead of calling it, I wrongly decided to push for my new personal best and as a result aggravated the pain further. I found myself once again sidelined and when I did return, I was wearing a knee bandage to alleviate some of the pain (which I still have to wear). 

Mistakes Were Made.

5: Most Importantly… Have Fun:
Whether you are running for fitness or training for a race, I simply cannot stress this enough… have fun! 

I see far too many people consider running a form of torture. I can assure you; this couldn’t be further from the truth! Running can truly be rewarding, if you’re fortunate enough to live near rural areas, rivers or cities be sure to check them out or your run – there is a world out there just waiting to be explored! 

Sevilla, Spain. Captured on one of my runs

Ryan Smith

MSc Advertising and
Marketing Student