What Is Plogging? Everything You Need to Know

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

Walking, jogging, and biking in the great outdoors are not only good activities for your body; they also feed your soul. In Sweden, a fitness craze known as plogging combines the tranquility of outdoor exercise with environmental advocacy.

So, what is plogging? Plogging refers to an action that many trail trekkers have already been doing: picking up litter while working out. The term merges the word jogging with the Swedish phrase "plocka upp," which means pick up, according to The Washington Post.

A Global Trend

Runner's World reports that plogging has spread beyond Sweden, becoming a popular workout across the globe. Environmentalists from all over the world have tagged #plogging in social media posts, some even sharing all the trash they recovered on their run.

Many outdoor fitness groups already volunteer to conduct trail maintenance and restoration, so plogging is a natural progression for nature-loving workout enthusiasts. It even provides additional fitness benefits, since the act of bending over to pick up trash can strengthen the core!

HuffPost states that over 80 percent of the plastic litter that ends up polluting the oceans comes from land. Plogging is a simple way—as is saying "no thanks" to plastic straws—that you can help reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste. Every little bit helps.

litter in creek

Prepare to Plog

You likely already have everything you need to start plogging! Before heading out on your next run, ride, or walk, carry a few household items with you. You'll need a large trash bag, gloves, and a trash picker (if you have one on hand).

Plastic is often the easiest litter to spot and remove, but other items like receipts, cigarette butts, and bottle caps are often improperly disposed of, as well. Animals and plants can be negatively affected by even small pieces of litter, so every removal—big or small—helps keep their ecosystem safe.

two women removing trash near water

Spread the Word

Now that you know how plogging benefits you and the planet, tell others in your community. Local running groups are great organizations to get involved with, as they may know specific regions that need extra trash removal attention. High school cross-country teams could also be excited to participate, as many students need to earn community service hours in order to graduate. Plogging is the perfect way for them to log hours and miles simultaneously.

When your friends, family, or neighbors ask, "What is plogging?" tell them it's an easy way to help the environment while working out. You can even start your own plogging fitness group and invite them to join you on your journey. Remember there are no rules. Plogging doesn't need to be done every day, week, or month. Every little bit makes a positive change and the more people you recruit to join your plogging club, the more waste will be removed from the environment.

What are some other ways that you combine exercise with community service? Let us know on Twitter!

Image Sources: Pxhere | Flickr | Flickr

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Why It’s Good

Plogging allows you to get more out of your workout by combining outdoor activities like jogging with cleaning up the environment. Help Mother Nature along with your body, mind, and spirit by incorporating plogging into your exercise routine.