Earth Day happens annually on April 22. Mark the event with a workout that benefits the earth and creates minimal environmental impact.
What Is the History of Earth Day?
Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day is a "holiday" created in 1970 to boost public consciousness about air and water pollution. The holiday was first proposed by Wisconsin Junior Senator Gaylord Nelson who got Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to be his co-chair.
Nelson was inspired by the activism students had shown in the antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam. The first Earth Day was dedicated to teaching students on college campuses about the state of the environment and ways they could lessen their environmental impact. The event also inspired "teach-ins" where students across the country marched and protested against ways that the Earth and its inhabitants were being harmed by industrial development.
Since the first Earth Day was held in 1970, the holiday has grown far beyond the borders of the US. Today, more than 190 countries engage in Earth Day activities, and experts estimate that nearly 1 billion people participate in some kind of Earth Day event each year. More than 17,000 official organizations hold Earth Day events globally, and these events range from marches to protests to cleanups, and everything in between.
Earth Day is just one official celebration on the calendar that can inspire your health and fitness plans. There are many more, like Black History Month and the winter holiday season. Tailoring your workouts around holidays can keep things fresh when it comes to your exercise routine, and help make your life generally more celebratory and fun.
How Do People Traditionally Mark Earth Day?
As mentioned above, Earth Day began as a movement protesting the environmental impact industrial developments have had on the Earth—and the ways people were being damaged by that impact. However, today, people mark Earth Day in a wide variety of ways. In fact, Earth Day is called "the largest secular civic event in the world" because so many people participate in the occasion in their very own unique ways.
Here is a list of some of the ways that people commonly mark the April 22 holiday:
• Planting community gardens
• Hosting large group cleanups of public places like beaches and parks
• Committing to walking or riding their bike to work for a day
• Marching in a pro-environmental health protest or participating in an Earth-friendly rally
• Spending time outside, in whatever way is possible
• Reading about the current state of the health of the Earth, as well as ways that global warming has impacted the health of the planet
• Starting a compost pile, where people can discard their food scraps to decompose into soil that can be used in a garden
• Donating to a charity or organization that helps minimize environmental impacts or improve the health of the planet in a variety of ways
• Watching Live Earth Day event coverage from around the globe to see how other people are celebrating Earth Day
Many people celebrate Earth Day. There is no right or wrong way to mark the holiday. In fact, some people simply call attention to the need for better environmental protections and practices by having an Earth Day party, and some schools or groups of kids may even eat a fun, traditional Earth Day dessert. That desert is a cup of dirt made from crushed chocolate or sandwich cookies to represent dirt, and gummy worms to represent earthworms that are found in the ground. Any way you can think of to help call attention to the beauty of the planet and the need to protect it is appropriate for an Earth Day Celebration Idea.
Want to celebrate Earth Day by changing your overall relationship to the Earth? Introduce new eco-friendly habits into your day using proven ways to add in or remove fixed habits from your routine. By being mindful about adopting environmentally-friendly habits, you can live an Earth-Friendly lifestyle all year long, and not just when Earth Day rolls around in April.
How Can I Celebrate Earth Day With an Earth-Friendly Workout?
One way a person who cares about fitness and loves working out may celebrate Earth Day is by doing an Earth Day-centric workout. You may have never thought about how to do an Earth Day workout before, but it is totally possible to make your exercise routine on April 22 one that minimizes your impact on the planet, and one that also helps make the world a better place.
Here are our best ideas for an Earth-Friendly workout, so you can mark an important holiday and get your workout done for the day—multitasking that has major benefits for the health of your body and the health of the planet you live on, too. Try these to get started, then add in your own if you can think of more fitting ways to honor Mother Earth.
• Don't drive anywhere to work out: On Earth Day, make sure you work out at home. Using your car or public transportation to go to a gym uses energy and fuel. Reduce your energy consumption by committing to doing an at-home or walkable workout.
• Consider working out outside: If the weather is nice on April 22, and it tends to be, consider exercising outside. You can revel in nature by exercising in your own backyard. Alternatively, if there is a park nearby, walk, jog, or bicycle there and enjoy all the Earth has to offer while you sweat. Outside workouts give you the benefit of also getting vitamin D from the sun, so the whole experience has the potential to offer you a slew of health benefits. And working outside can simply be fun and refreshing, too.
• Use what's around you as gear, instead of making a purchase: Unnecessary consumption fuels unnecessary production. We buy so many things these days that companies just keep manufacturing more and more. It's this manufacturing process that has taken a real toll on the world. Help do your part by learning how to do your home workout (or outdoor workout) with just the things around you.
Need hand weights? Pick up larger stones or books you may have inside your home. Need an aerobics step to step up onto? Find a curb outside, or use a chair you already have or the stairs inside of your house. Get creative about the workout gear you already have that's disguised as an everyday object. You'll help reduce overall consumption of fitness gear, and in turn, do your part in discouraging companies to produce any more gear.
• Commit to ditching the one-time-use plastic water bottle for good: Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest polluters in the world. On Earth Day, take a reusable water bottle to your workout and make a pledge to ditch one-time-use plastic water bottles for good.
Need some more specific ideas for moves you can use for an at-home workout? Check out our guide to indoor, at-home circuit training. You can use this guide to get some great exercise done at home, which will help you meet the criteria of doing an effective but eco-friendly Earth Day celebratory workout.