Editor's note: Know someone who’s gotten into shape by going green (perhaps it’s even you?).  Email us at contact@mnn.com or leave a comment below and we’ll include it in our next round-up.

Many people who choose to drive personal vehicles to work instead of taking public transportation cite convenience as a major factor in their decision. But, as Atlanta resident Sam Moody found out, giving up your car can have some surprising benefits.

Last fall, as a series of hurricanes caused a gas shortage in the Southeast, Moody found himself waiting in a 45-minute line in his BMW to pay over $3 a gallon for gas and realized that he was sick of the solo commuter grind. After making the switch to public transit, Moody lost a whopping 70 pounds and gained $3,000.

Not only did taking the train force him into healthier eating choices by removing the option to stop for fast food on the way home, it also required a 2-mile walk to the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit System) station every day.

The financial incentives were pretty sweet, too – Moody saved thousands of dollars in gas and even got $180 from the Clean Air Campaign’s ‘Cash for Commuters’ program, which basically paid for his first three months of taking public transit.

In an interview with the Examiner, Moody explained why he would never think about jumping back in the car again.

“No, I can truly say that, it is nice not having to worry about car maintenance, or having to pay a car note, and car insurance. Winter mornings sometimes, but MARTA has heat!”

People who want to be green and lose weight at the same time can follow Moody’s lead and ditch the car, or take it even further with other eco-friendly modes of exercise.

Choosing video podcasts instead of exercise DVDs isn’t just free, it also saves a lot of plastic packaging and reduces clutter in your home. Simply search iTunes for yoga, pilates, bootcamp or other fitness classes.

For the truly ambitious, you can lose weight and gain muscle tone by “choosing muscles over motors”, as described in the book The Human Powered Home by Tamara Dean. Using your own body to power everything from your washing machine to your laptop can be exhausting, but it’s certainly a green way to get fit.

MNN WANTS TO KNOW: Know someone who’s gotten into shape by going green (perhaps it’s even you?).  Email us at contact@mnn.com or leave a comment below and we’ll include it in our next round-up.  

MNN homepage photo: DNY59/iStockphoto

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