· By Jamal Ayton-Brown
5 Fun Ways To Improve Your Health, & That of The Planet
As a personal trainer, and as super busy mum of three, I know that one of the main reasons many of us don’t get our recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week is lack of time. The same goes for why we don’t prioritise our mental health (we all know that daily meditation is going to help but do we make time for it?), and especially for eating more healthily (I’m currently nibbling on a chocolate-covered shortbread as I write this).
Plus, as founder of my local climate action group I’m aware that lack of time is also one of the main reasons we find it difficult to look after our planet better. After all, it’s one thing to sort the recycling from the rubbish, but another thing entirely to try and grow your own veg, for example.
Yes of course there’s a strong argument for it being about lack of priorities (we all make time for Netflix after all) but life IS full. So here are my five favourite fun(ish) ways to boost your health, and that of the planet.
- Get back on your bike. Taking your bike (or the bus) rather than your car will improve your health, and your carbon footprint. In fact, one study suggests*1 that, ‘People who cycled on a daily basis had 84% lower carbon emissions from all their daily travel than those who didn’t’. I was TERRIFIED when I first got back on my bike a few years ago. So I took some free lessons with LifeCycle UK *2 and I’ve never looked back. I’m fitter, feel happier and the planet, I’m sure, is grateful.
- Join (or start) an environmental group. With everything that is going on in the world, from Covid to climate change – and more – many of us have been feeling more anxious and depressed than usual. And while much of this is beyond our control, focusing on what we can change, is a really positive way of boosting your mental health. Spending time with like minded people who care about the same things you do, is also key. So do a little Ecosia *3 search (the Ecosia search engine plants trees with your search profits) to find your local group, or start your own.
- Take up plogging. Plogging is a word derived from two Swedish word for ‘pick up’ and ‘jog’. It’s basically going for a run and collecting litter along the way. It’s quite a skill and it helps to have two of you, one to hold the bag and the other to grab thelitter. So why not grab yourself a picker (another Ecosia search will help you here, or sometimes local councils lend them out) and give it a go. Or just walk while you pick. Either way, you’re moving your body and moving the litter into the bins rather than the oceans.
- Book a British hiking holiday. Reducing the number of flights we take is crucial in the fight against climate change. But we all need a holiday (boy do we need a holiday). So bring on the British vibes by staying local and heading for a good old hiking holiday.*4 Better still, catch a train to get there.
- Switch your shake. The easiest of all these ‘fun 5’, is to try switching to a jrny energy boosting plant-based shake. Whey is a protein derived from milk, milk is produced by cows, cows fart and burn methane which heats up our planet. Most of us rely quite heavily on meat and dairy products for our protein as it is, so why not give your body, and the planet, a break and opt for vegan for your next order. I’ve been testing out vegan shakes for a number of years now and jrny definitely have the best flavour.
So there you have it. 5 fun ways to boost your own health and that of the planet. Now, rather than just reading this and changing nothing, I want you to pick ONE of these 5 that you’re going to try this week and go for it (then come back and do the others later). Not quite ready for that? Then the next best thing you can do is share this blog post to your socials and hopefully, someone you know will take the next step.
Thanks for reading,
At jrny, we are made up of a team of Sports Scientists, Registered Nutritionists. We want to make sure that we’re not just putting up the pseudo-science you’d see on other sites. If any of our staff put anything on our blog that relates to your health, you can bet that it is backed by evidence-based science! It always will be. That’s our commitment to you.
The information in this post was adapted from information provided by personal trainer Heather Keats. Follow her @heatherkeatshealthandhappiness.