Healthy Earth, Healthy Us: How living sustainably contributes to holistic fitness

TDB Fitness Newsletter 5/2/2021

To us, holistic wellness includes a relationship with nature and caring for the earth. We have incorporated practices into our daily lives to try to honor that relationship. Here are a few tips you can follow to do the same!

A picture of Vinnie in his garden from 2018 (back when the hair was short, and the beard long).
A picture of Vinnie in his garden from 2018 (back when the hair was short, and the beard long).

Tip of the week:

Living Sustainably

Let me start out by saying that Vinnie and I are not experts on sustainability. However, since getting married, Vinnie and I have done our best to build habits around living as sustainably as possible. We’ve done research, learned some DIY skills, and gotten plenty of dirt under our fingernails in the process.

Living sustainably to us means considering the environmental impact of each one of our choices. Especially when it comes to materials we use and consume. We set the goal to live sustainably because environmental health directly contributes to human mental and physical health. The healthier the earth is, the healthier we are.

Vinnie and I are also not perfect — long showers being our worst vice. Living sustainably is similar to maintaining a fitness routine in that it takes habit building. It takes baby steps. It takes patience and grace for yourself when you misstep.

And overall, we have found living sustainably has actually helped us by supporting our other fitness and health goals. The following list includes practices and habits we have built in order to live more sustainably:

  • Gardening. I don’t garden. To be honest I don’t like getting dirty. Vinnie, however, has an extraordinarily green thumb. He loves his plants like they’re his children — and it shows in our yearly harvest. Gardening allows us to grow our own produce. The food is cheaper, tastes better, and lasts longer than what you find in the grocery store. It also takes money away from industrial farming practices that hurt our environment on a more macro level. A win-win in our book! If you don’t have the yard space for a garden, you can still get fresh produce out of a windowsill garden.
  • Composting. Composting unfortunately requires some yard space. Composting means throwing all your organic refuse in a pile in the yard, and turning it occasionally with a pitchfork until it turns to soil. You can really compost anything organic, but Vinnie and I steer clear of animal products/bi-products (with the exception of eggshells) and anything with grain, so we don’t attract scavenger animals into our yard. Composting creates organic soil you can then use in your own garden. This saves you money in the long run and is healthier overall for the produce you grow. Many cities and townships also have compost sites where you can get yards of it for free/cheaply. Check Google for one near you.
  • Build or buy a rain barrel. We have one of these so we can reuse rain water to water our garden.
  • Recycle in home. Although city recycling services are great, it’s an unfortunate realty that most of what you recycle ends up in a landfill anyway. If you’re really passionate about recycling, find ways to recycle materials in your home. For example, Vinnie reuses old jars for flower pots. We’re the people who save wrapping paper at birthdays and Christmas. And there’s a thousand other small ways we reuse containers and boxes around our house.
  • Consume less. The easiest way to cut down on our trash problem is by creating less trash overall. Composting helps with this. As does using washable containers vs. disposable containers or plastic baggies. Use a refillable water bottle rather than plastic disposable options. When you’re at the grocery store, really only buy the food that you and your family will consume that week — this one helps with fitness and diet goals as well!

Food for Thought:

Nature and Mental Wellness

Access to clean, green outdoor space contributes to positive mental health. Spending time in nature helps us relieve stress, the vitamin D in sunshine improves our mood, noticing natural beauty helps us stay present and distracts us from our to-do lists.

Unfortunately, we live in Michigan. During the winter months it’s not uncommon to get to work before the sun rises, and leave after the sun sets. Not to mention, it’s cold and going outside kind of sucks. During the rest of the year, getting outside isn’t always easy either. Work schedules are exhausting and often keep us indoors. Technology pretty much rules our lives. Apartment or city living doesn’t always provide easy access to green space.

However, prioritizing time in nature is essential to maintaining good physical and mental health. The following list provides examples of ways we can work more time with nature into our busy lifestyles:

  • Get some indoor plants. Making a windowsill garden like I mentioned above is a wonderful way to bring nature in to you. Creating green space inside your home improves your air quality, lifts your mood, and helps you relieve stress.
  • Schedule it in. Successfully start a new habit by putting it on the calendar. Become intentional about scheduling weekly outdoor time for yourself — and actually stick to it. Spending time in nature is essential for your physical and mental health, you’re allowed to make it a priority!
  • Workout outside. You’re doing at-home workouts anyway, why not do them outside? Or go on a hike for your mild cardio that day. Join a running group. There are so many ways you can get exercise outside, and socialize with your community as well!
  • Take breaks outside. Whether you’re at work or at home, I’m sure you take breaks throughout the day. Try stepping outside for lunch or spending five minutes in the snowfall you can see from your office window. Even five minutes in nature is better than zero!

A species can only be as healthy as the resources available to it. Our natural environment affects both our physical and mental health. Therefore, spending time in clean, green, outdoor spaces contributes to our ability to become holistically healthy individuals. Just like with working out, we can set lifestyle goals to deepen our relationship with our natural habitat. With this goal in mind, we can use intentional consumption choices and basic habit-building skills to live more natural, sustainable lifestyles!

Team Announcements

From Sunrises to Sunburns

Vinnie and I got back from our beach vacation on Tuesday. It was a wonderful, relaxing, restorative birthday weekend. Our favorite moment of the trip was waking up to catch the sunrise on Monday. Whereas, our least favorite was definitely the sunburns! We learned our lesson about being lazy with the sunscreen applications.

Freebie Fridays

Friday May 14, 2021 TDBFit will post another FREE workout to our Facebook page! That week we will swap Friday and Saturday’s workouts. Therefore, 5/14 will be a full body workout, and 5/15 will be leg day. Please share our Facebook page with anyone you think may be interested in trying out a free workout!

Discount Pricing

If you haven’t checked out our package offerings recently, see them here! We’ve added a discount pricing option for when you pay for 4 weeks of training at a time.

A picture from sunrise on Monday April 26, 2021. The Atlantic Ocean.
A picture from sunrise on Monday April 26, 2021. The Atlantic Ocean.

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