It’s that time of year again. After weeks of overindulgence, people catch sight of their bulging waistlines in bedroom mirrors and declare their New Year’s resolution is to get in shape. This is where petrochemicals can help.

Thanks to petrochemicals (the building blocks of modern life) getting fit has never been easier, or as fun. From gym equipment to wearable tech, products made from petrochemicals – literally – have you covered.

If we begin with gym equipment, a quick glance around any fitness center will tell you the days of stark metal barbells are a thing of the past. Apart from the fact that weights these days are often plastic or synthetic rubber-coated, gyms are usually full of treadmills, exercise bikes and ellipticals, all of which are manufactured using petrochemical-based products including those made from urethane, propylene and other materials.

As gyms evolve, so do the products needed – and petrochemicals can help there, too. From modern medicine balls to the heavy ropes found in Crossfit gyms, synthetic rubber, polyester, polypropylene, nylon and other high-tech materials can be found in all of them.

The latest developments in wearable tech also rely on petrochemicals too: from gadgets like Fitbits to clothes that can monitor your breathing and pulse – and even how hard specific muscles are working – your workout can now be monitored and recorded by the very clothes you wear. How is this possible? Circuits and sensors are printed or woven into the (frequently polyester or nylon) fabric itself, which can receive and record your body’s key performance metrics.

So when you head to the gym to burn off the excesses of the holiday season, remember the role petrochemicals have played in making your workout session a little better.