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Need a new and effective full body exercise? Try Plogging

March 29, 2018

What is plogging?

The idea of plogging has its origins in Sweden. The name is derived from the Swedish words ‘plocka upp’ and ‘joggning’. The English translation being ‘picking up’ and ‘jogging’. From these words the term plogging has been introduced into our lexicon of universal terms. Plogging means to help clean up your local environment by bagging trash during a jog.

The phenomenon started as a simple community minded activity among joggers in Sweden. Plogging is now widely practised around the globe, and has spread far beyond Scandinavia, to other parts of Europe and into the U.S.A (it’s catching on in Singapore too). Plogging has given rise to a global subculture of enthusiastic likeminded runners, who derive satisfaction and additional health benefits, from picking up litter during their jogs.

What makes a jogger start the transition to plogging?

Joggers around the globe have become disgusted and perhaps embarrassed too, about the environmental pollution seen when out jogging.The traditional mindset is to ignore trash and hopefully it will be cleared up and removed by someone else, or local government.

But if you are a regular jogger that’s not soon enough, and it may not even happen! The unsightly accumulation of trash may be around for some time and its presence during a jog can be disheartening. Plogging cleans up the environment and provides an excellent all round workout! Ploggers recognize the need for action and no longer tolerate discarded refuse strewn indiscriminately along their jogging routes. A desire to restore environmental standards to their community, and reduce pollution, is a prime motivator for those who practise plogging. Plogging provides an opportunity to get stronger and fitter, while improving ‘streetscape’ cleanliness in a local area.

Can plogging have more health benefits and burn more calories than jogging?

Plogging shares similar characteristics to interval training. There are low intensity periods alternated between higher intensity bending, squatting, picking and bagging activities. This provides a more intense workout than jogging alone. In addition, each bag of rubbish will progressively increase in weight to build strength and endurance. Together with jogging the extra exertion from bending, twisting and picking up, provides an all-round workout. The stop-squat-and-pick-up-trash activity requires a ‘burpee’ style motion. Burpees are one of the most complete exercises and can burn up to 1.4 calories each (depending upon a person’s weight), and reduce fat by more than 50% compared to moderate exercising.

To avoid injuries – practise jogging before plogging

As with most exercise and fitness programs some preparation prior to participation is important. There are awkward movements associated with picking up and carrying trash during a jog that could cause injury i.e. strength imbalances that may twist a knee or trigger neck and back pain. Running with a trash bag on one side causes the opposite side of the body to compensate for any instability. Therefore a good posture should be maintained and sides switched to avoid undue strain and remain well balanced. To avoid injury, plogging is best performed by runners who are conditioned and experienced in jogging.

Is there a Plogging kit?

Ploggers arm themselves with a heavy duty polythene bag or two for cartage of garbage, and a pair of protective gloves worn at all times. The aim is to collect at least one full bag of trash in the course of a run. If you need help with motivation and plogging there is a Swedish mobile health application (app) called ‘Lifesum’ used by over 25 million internationally. The app can calculate the calories burned while plogging and assist with health and fitness goals. It is available for iOS and Android and as a wearable. As plogging gains momentum and popularity Lifesum encourages the worldwide plogging community to tag photos of themselves using the Twitter hashtag # plogging

Some sentiments of those that practise plogging..

“I can’t run past that plastic bottle – it’s not that I want to pick it up – I don’t – but I also think that when a person sees trash .. they should take some responsibility for it..”

“I have a full bag of garbage every run ..food wrappers, styrofoam, cigarette packs, and plastic bottles. Over time it becomes more rewarding as I see less improperly disposed rubbish along the routes that I run…”

“Once a few bags of rubbish have been collected, maintaining my jogging routes is much easier than when I first started plogging.. ”

References
Moye, David. 2018. “New Fitness Trend ‘Plogging’ Keeps Both Humans And Mother Earth Healthy.” Huffington Post, February 24, 2018. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/plogging-fitness-trend_us_5a9065bde4b0ee6416a30941.
Thompson, Rachel. 2018. “‘Plogging’ Is a Swedish Fitness Trend That Combines Running with Picking up Litter.” Mashable. February 13, 2018. https://mashable.com/2018/02/13/plogging-fitness-trend/.