I’ve been an avid runner for over five years, so I appreciate what getting outside and breathing in the fresh air does for me. It has become the one thing I can count on to leave me feeling loved and like I’ve done something to take care of myself. Not to mention it’s a great time to delve into a podcast and really escape life for a bit.
So, when I was driving the other night looking at all the Christmas lights and heard the DJ on the radio talking about a new jogging trend, I couldn’t wait to hear what it was.
Apparently there is a thing called “plogging,” which got its name from the Swedish word “plocka upp,” meaning “to pick up.” Combine that fun word with jogging, and you have plogging.
I love this idea for a few reasons: For one, you can vary your exercise routine (the key is to squat down or lunge as you pick up the trash to get a diverse workout), but it’s also an excuse for a mini break during a run.
More importantly though, plogging came about for those people who love to run and clean up the environment.
This craze originated in Sweden, but has been picking up steam in the last few years and trending on social media with its own hashtag.
The trend has spread worldwide. Ripu Daman Bevli, an ultra runner who likes to keep his planet clean, is credited with being the first plogger in India.
He told BuzzFeed News, “I and some of my friends have been cleaning up for years but at an individual level and then decided to start a group called My City, My Responsibility. And when we saw this cool term for clean-up called plogging, we basically rebranded ourselves to Ploggers of India last year with a vision to make India a country of ploggers.”
The great thing about plogging is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a jogger either. You can take a trash bag out with you on a walk, or during a hike, canoe, or bike ride.
Since we are all looking for more things to do these days (and let’s face it, more ways to make ourselves feel better), it’s something free we can try with the whole family that will boost our endorphins and do our planet good.
An added bonus to plogging is you can burn more calories bending over to pick up trash than simply exercising alone.
Garden Culture Magazine reports you can burn over fifty calories more per hour. This makes sense because you are carrying some extra weight around with you as you trot along.
I decided to take to the streets and try a little plogging myself, doubting I would find much trash.
I was wrong, though. I’ve run the same route for quite some time and didn’t realize how much trash there really was on my small country road until I was actually paying attention.
It was definitely harder than I thought, too. The variety of squatting or lunging to pick up the trash, and carry the bag along with me wasn’t easy. In fact, I thought about leaving the garbage bag on the road and coming back to get it with my car, but I knew some hungry birds might make a mess out of it.
So, if you haven’t heard of plogging, now you are in the know. And if you were looking for something to liven up your exercise routine, get you and your family out of the house, or simply try something different, consider this article your sign.
Happy plogging! It definitely leaves your mind, body, and the earth in a better place.
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