Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gyms Go Green

“Has your gym gone green yet? If it hasn’t already, it probably will soon. At this year’s IHRSA convention, over 320 exhibitors from all over the world uncovered their latest and greatest innovations and one of the hottest, stand-out trends was in eco-products and design. The green trend is gaining in popularity and importance as both club clients and owners recognize the effects of their carbon footprint. These days, everyone wants to go green. Let’s take a look at the leaders in the eco-gym industry: Green Revolution, Inc. - Has it ever struck you that the gym is a brilliant place to harness natural energy? Jay Whelan, founder and CEO of Green Revolution, Inc. sure thought so. His innovative company has developed a product that captures the energy produced by cardio machines and puts it back into the grid, creating user-generated energy that’s both clean and green and a gym that, essentially, runs itself! If you consider that an average group cycling class with 20 bikes has the potential to generate up to 3.6 megawatts (3,600,000 watts) of renewable energy every year, that’s enough to light 72 homes for a month and reduce carbon emissions by over 5,000 lbs.! The folks at Green Revolution, Inc. hopes that by using this technology, we can help reduce our reliance on coal-based fossil fuel and lessen our carbon footprint, all while promoting health through fitness. Their converter currently hooks up to indoor bikes only, but converters to rowers, elliptical trainers, Stairmasters, and treadmills are soon to follow. SportsArt Fitness - The innovators at SportsArt have designed cardio machines that use 32% less power than the traditional machines. Their ECO-POWR System (Extreme Conservation and Output) is a maintenance-free and self-regulating technological system that delivers 5.0hp of performance while using up to one-third less electricity than the standard AC and DC motors. SportsArt Fitness also offers self-generating cycles and elliptical trainers that require absolutely no electricity to operate—talk about conservation! In addition to their eco-friendly products, SportsArt has compiled a list of green initiatives for gyms in their Go Green Tutorial. If your gym needs a gentle push in a greener direction, take a copy to your gym’s manager. Woodway - Thanks to a near frictionless drive system, Woodway treadmills have the honor of being the most efficient and environmentally friendly treadmills on the market. The running surface of these treadmills glides on ball bearings, which allows for a smaller drive motor that uses 50% less energy. In addition, the rubberized slat running surface lasts 5 – 10 times longer than those used for conventional treadmills. The longer lifespan results in fewer repairs and less waste for our landfills. Am-Finn Sauna and Steam - Traditional tiled (and highly porous) sauna and steam rooms create the ideal environment for mold, mildew, and viruses, including Staph and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Because of this, they require daily chemical scrubs to safeguard users from infection. Consequently, that puts a lot of environmental waste back into our precious planet. But now gyms have a greener alternative. The team at Am-Finn has created the perfect solution—their hybrid steam room is made of thermoplastics, which means no tile and no grout, plus their self-cleaning system sanitizes nightly with O3 (an unstable oxygen molecule that bonds with carbon, instantly killing mold and bacteria) and therefore needs no harsh chemicals. Now you can relax your body and put your eco-worries to rest.


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