Lifewatch: Eco-friendly gym

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

PORTLAND, OR (WECT) - A gym in Portland, Oregon is teaching customers about how to get an eco-friendly workout.

If you're going to work up a sweat riding an exercise bike, why not capture the energy and turn it into electricity?

That is one of the concepts being tested at the Green Microgym in Portland.

"We're seeing if we can create as much electricity as the gym uses every day. We're doing that by combining solar power and human power," said gym owner Adam Boesel.

Boesel retrofitted some of the workout equipment with special motors that convert extra energy into electricity, which is then stored in special batteries and used to power other machines.

"We're not going to power the community or solve the energy crisis, but there is energy there that you can get," said Boesel.

Boesel didn't stop there.  He purchased energy efficient treadmills, ceiling fans, and fluorescent lights.  He says his customers know their priorities.

"Getting a good workout is the first thing. Saving the earth or helping power the gym, that adds a little bit of motivation," said Boesel.

The concept seems to be catching on.  His business opened three months ago and he already has 100 members.

Now, other gyms around the country are making their own efforts to go green.  They installed energy efficient lighting and used recycled and natural products.

The use of green cleaners also helps.

Research shows that health clubs that keep a green environment encourage members to maintain a green lifestyle.