What if we told you that you could get fitter and save the planet at the same time? Enter: plogging. The running craze has been around since 2016 and has quickly picked up the pace around the world. Let’s see exactly why this eco-friendly workout trend is sweeping the world of fitness.
What is plogging?
Plogging is the perfect exercise for eco-conscious runners, combining jogging with litter-picking. It was started by Erik Ahlström in Sweden in 2016 to clean up trash and work out at the same time. The name comes from a combination of ‘jogging’ and ‘plucking’ (the Swedish “plocka up” to be more specific).
What are the benefits of plogging?
Think about the last time you were out on a jog – how much rubbish did you see on the streets, or in the countryside? Now imagine if you squatted, stretched, pulled, and plucked every piece of garbage you found during said run. You’re bringing in a range of natural functional movements into your standard cardio – all while helping clean up the planet.
Here are some more specific benefits of plogging:
- Is a force for good, which is motivation in itself. Having a purpose to your run means you’re more likely to lace up those trainers and pound the pavement.
- Adds a sneaky core workout to your cardio. As discussed above, bending down again and again to grab those stray crisp packets or plastic bottles helps to workout many core muscles you might miss in a straightforward jog.
- Prevents plastic pollution. By collecting litter on your run, you’re helping to keep animals and plants ecosystems safe. This includes our oceans, swathes of which end up filled with the majority of plastic land waste.
- Is good for your body, mind & spirit. It feels good to help reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste – even if it’s just a little bit. The rewarding nature of this means you’re more likely to head out plogging again in the future.
- Builds community. Connecting with other like-minded people and creating a community of ploggers means you’re even more likely to maintain a fitness regime too. Accountability is a brilliant motivator.
How do I start?
You don’t need much – just some protective gloves and a big bin bag. To prepare, you might want to plan a run that ends near a bin or recycling bin, so you can drop off whatever litter you’ve plucked during your run. Then, all you need is the get-up-and-go to head out on your run – which is way more motivating when you have a sense of purpose.
Where do I find local plogging groups?
Local running groups are great ways to find local plogging enthusiasts. Check social media sites like Facebook or start your own plogging page for your local area. Green heroes are your go-to place for plogging in Austria, whereas in Switzerland this link gives you the best trails. You can always post advertisements online or on notice boards at your gym, community centres, etc. Many local councils share information on starting litter picking groups in your area and tips on staying safe.
Positive movement should be natural – a continual interaction between ourselves and our environment. This forms one of the most important pillars of our EVO philosophy – and plogging ticks every box of this. Learn more about our training techniques – and change the way you think and feel about exercise.