The environmental impact of exercise is often a surprise to people. Many of the positive effects that exercise has on an individual are also beneficial to the environment. For example, when someone exercises outdoors, they avoid relying on cars and other forms of transportation that emit large amounts of carbon. This reduces air pollution and improves the sustainability of cities.
Another way that exercise can positively affect your environmental health is by minimizing the use of energy-intensive sports equipment. This is particularly important for those who engage in sports such as tennis or football, which require a lot of energy and can generate significant heat. This waste heat is known as thermal pollution, and it can raise local temperatures, disrupt weather patterns, and contribute to the acidification of bodies of water.
In addition, individuals who regularly engage in physical activities are more likely to make environmentally conscious decisions as part of their daily lives. This can include selecting foods that are sustainably produced and locally sourced, and it may also include reducing their trash output.
Regular exercise can also help to relieve stress, which is a common factor contributing to unfavorable environmental actions. This can be a result of overconsumption or a lack of appreciation for the environment, and it is often the case that people who exercise frequently feel less stressed and are more willing to support conservation efforts.