This week’s Go Green Get Fit Challenge is Eco-Fitness Faves!
We all have favorite styles and brands, materials we like to avoid and those we choose to let in to our homes. My eco-fitness faves combine my passion for environmentally conscious brands, non-toxic materials and gear that performs. After all, most eco-brands are a bit more pricey. So on top of being good for me, my family and the planet, the quality and durability have to be worth the price tag.
With those criterion in mind, here are some eco-fitness products and brands I love to use and recommend:
SHOES: PlanetShoes.com, our Go Green Get Fit Challenge Presenting Sponsor, kindly sent me a pair of Patagonia Fore Runners to train in for the Go Green Get Fit Challenge and they are fantastic! I have long been a fan of Patagonia as a company. Their mission statement pretty much sums up why. Patagonia strives to: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
While their supply chain isn’t perfect, they are completely transparent about their weak areas and what they’re doing to improve. In fact, Patagonia is so committed to transparency, they have created the Footprint Chronicles, an interactive experience that takes you on a journey thru the entire supply chain to discover the environmental and social impacts of each product.
I’m proud to lace up my minimalist Fore Runners every day and hit the road, knowing that the greatest impact my shoes are having is on my ability to get fit and healthy.
APPAREL: Virus Action Sport Performance Wear. I know, I know - I’m not a Cross-Fitter, Paddle Boarder, Surfer or even a true Extreme Sport enthusiast. So why am I hanging out on Extreme performance gear websites and Facebook pages? But I know great technology when I see it, especially in textiles where so many hidden chemicals lurk. So when I find a company that is doing so much to keep chemical treatments out of their products, and opting for natural technologies instead, I want to let people know about them! Virus is cutting edge when it comes to sport technology – they are using materials like coffee grounds, jade, bamboo and bioceramics to achieve results that other companies have only been able to achieve by dousing their “performance gear” with a cocktail of toxic chemicals. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take my technical performance wear without the side of chemical residues on my skin, please! I haven’t had the opportunity to try out their apparel for fit and comfort yet, but I love their concept, am excited about their expanding women’s collection and can’t wait to give Virus a whirl.
SOCKS: Yes, I know, I just made socks their own category. But I have a favorite, so it needed its own place. Don’t let athletic store owners trick you into thinking synthetic socks are the only ones that can possibly work for you to wick away that nasty moisture. I agree that cotton is not the most sweat-friendly fabric. But contrary to popular belief, those are not the only options! If you haven’t already discovered them, please allow me to introduce you to Smartwool socks. They take all the natural qualities of wool — like its ability to regulate temperature and resist odors — and remove the itch! Yay! Plus the fibers actually move moisture faster and resist odors better than synthetics, so leave the polyester socks at home and enter a new realm of soft, washable, naturally temperature-regulating socks from Smartwool. On Sale Now at Sierra Trading Post.
YOGA: I absolutely love my Think Sport Yoga Mat. My hubby bought it for me for Christmas last year from the eco-fabulous online store Mighty Nest. It is PVC free, my favorite color of blue, and doesn’t stink up the living room with toxic off-gassing. That means I can use it in the room with my kids without worrying about what they’re inhaling in the name of mom’s fitness. One of the reasons I don’t go to a gym is that I can’t stand the smell of the equipment and the Think Sport Yoga Mat literally doesn’t smell – like anything. That’s a good thing! I know, I keep talking about this thing (see Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2012) but that should tell you just how wonderful I think it is. Also available at The Ultimate Green Store.
RESISTANCE TRAINING: Hugger Mugger. Whether you are looking for a new yoga mat, prop, ball, or weights, Hugger Mugger has your eco-friendly fitness gear needs covered. They avoid the use of toxic chemicals, paints or glues in their manufacturing and assembly processes, use 100% post-consumer recycled paper packaging, and utilize environmentally friendly techniques, such as hand craftsmanship, which is non-polluting and consumes minimal amounts of electricity. While some of their products do use PVC, they are committed to never using heavy metals or phthalates in any of their products. Additionally, they are 100% transparent with the materials used for their eco-friendly product ranges so consumers may make informed decisions. Now available at GreenCupboards.com.
HYDRATION: My go-to water bottle for everyday use is my Life Factory glass bottle. I take it with me everywhere, use it on the elliptical, for at-home and gym exercise, the park,the car, you name it. If I were stronger, I’d probably even try to carry it with me to run so I never had to use a plastic bottle! When it comes to hydration on-the-go, I use a BPA-free hand-held plastic water bottle. For longer training days (over 5 miles or so), I also use a hydration belt to ensure I maintain a healthy level of hydration throughout my workout.
FUEL: While I work hard to fuel my training as naturally as possible, my system responds best two two Honey Stinger products for intense training and race days: Honey Stinger Gels and Honey Stinger Waffles. The chews are a bit too, well, chewy for me. But I do also like their Protein Bars for post-workout re-fueling, especially if I have to drive home from a workout. It’s hard to find packaged fuels that are made without all of the sugar, fillers and other junk that my both my body and my values reject. So ever since my friend Kathy over at SafeMama.com recommended them to me, I fell in love and haven’t looked back! Available at Amazon.com, GreenCupboards.com or your local Whole Foods Market or REI.
SKIN CARE: While skin care is not technically a fitness product, for me proper skin care becomes even more critical because of the fitness activities I am pursuing. If I were sitting around the house all day (like I kind-of used to), I could probably get away with not much of a skin care regimen. But since my day now often starts with a run, often in the sun and heat (at least during the summer), I am more aware of the need to select eco-friendly skin care products that also perform well under pressure. I’ve tested out a ton of products in this category and here are some of my favorites:
- Deodorant: Miessence non-toxic deodorant is by far the best performing and I feel good about what’s in it (or more specifically, what’s NOT in it!)
- Sunscreen: Sunology has a face sunscreen that is less toxic and light enough that I don’t break out just from using it when I run, like so many of the thicker alternatives do.
- Chafing: The more I get into longer-distance running (logged 13.5 miles yesterday!), the more I come to understand why this is an issue. I rely on two of Earth Mama Angel Baby‘s products: Angel Baby Bottom Balm and New Mama Bottom Spray. They’re not just for bottoms! They great for bra-lines, arm pits, even between your toes, if you are prone to blistering, like I am!
- Acne: My Mama’s Love’s Acne Attack Kit does wonders for my skin, especially in the days after those long workouts slathered in sunscreen
Have any favorite eco-friendly fitness brands of your own to recommend?
Share in the comments here (we always love to hear your ideas) or share in this week’s discussion at EcoMom Alliance for a chance to win more than $250 worth of eco-fitness gear from our fabulous Go Green Get Fit Sponsors!
- Join the challenge! Participate in the weekly Challenges and Giveaways from June 18th-September 9th!
- Week 1 Challenge: Set and Share our Fitness Goals. You can read about My Goals Here or Share Your Own for a chance to win over $250 worth of eco-fitness products from our event sponsors.
- Week 2 Challenge: Share Your Nutrition Tips!
- Week 3 Challenge: Share Your Tips for Beating the Heat!
- Week 4 Challenge: Share Your Safety Tips!
- Week 5 Challenge: Share Ideas for Fueling Fitness Naturally!
- Week 6 Challenge: Progress Report!
- Week 7 Challenge: Staying Fit While Traveling!
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