The Workout Trend That Became The Most Earth-Friendly Way To Lose Weight

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people plogging

No matter what type of exercise you do, getting up and moving around in any capacity is essential to living a long, healthy life. But what if there was a way to improve your health and the planet?

Not only is it good news for people who enjoy running, but consider your good deeds complete for the year! Because jogging has just become a lot more than healthy — it is now helpful. Thanks to plogging, that is.

What is plogging?

Plogging is a combination of jogging and "plocka" (the Swedish word for "to pick"). Quite literally, you are picking up trash and waste as you jog.

According to, "The word plogging is an English-Swedish combination of jogging and 'plocka upp,' which means 'pick up' in Swedish. Swedish speakers use 'plogga,; a combination of 'plocka upp' with 'jogga' ('jog'). Both words, though, refer to the same activity of picking up litter while out on a jog."

Talk about multi-tasking!

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You're doing some good for your health by getting your body moving, and you're doing good for your community by trying to make it a more beautiful place to live.

The idea started in Sweden and has grown to see a lot more popularity. So popular, in fact, that there are now plogging groups in Sweden.

Anna Christopherson is a 43-year-old Swede who runs one of the first plogging groups. "It's good for both the environment and ourselves. It's very good for the body to combine running with squatting to lift rubbish," she says.

People are getting motivated and are extremely excited to be a part of such a healthy fitness regimen.

The practice came to the U.S. back in January of 2018 when the first plogging group was brought together by the app Meetup, holding their first event in Denver, Colorado. Tons of people came out with enthusiasm and showed their support by participating.



But you don't have to be part of a group to plog. All around the world, joggers are turning their daily jogs into plogs by helping to clean up trash in their communities.

It is surprising how much you don't even see when you are running. If you didn't notice trash on the ground before, you will now.

What are the benefits of plogging?

Plogging has numerous benefits for both you and the planet.

The lifting is not by any means easy, so being out of breath within a few minutes is not unheard of. It also doesn't take long for your bags to fill up with trash.

You can go the extra mile and make your workout even harder by running extra distances or taking a couple of trips to clean up a specific trash pile. So, it's definitely a whole-body workout.

In 2022, a study by Rahul Raghavan, Vinay V Panicker, and Francis J Emmatty, "Ergonomic risk and physiological assessment of plogging activity," actually proved that plogging was the better way to exercise compared to just jogging.

The study concluded that "Plogging strengthens the muscles of the lower body and it involves a larger proportion of the human body’s muscle groups than does jogging."

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By doing this now, we can ensure that the environment will not be reduced in the future. It may seem too far in advance to even care about, but it is closer than you think.

Getting trash cleaned up on the side of the road doesn't seem like a big deal at first, but when you see how clean it truly can make a city, there is no doubt that it is impressive. In other words, you are doing your part to help save your home.

How To Start Plogging

1. Make sure you have the right materials.

The first thing to do before you go plogging is to have the right equipment and materials.

You don't want to be picking up trash with your bare hands, so invest in durable gloves to keep you safe from germs. You will also need a trash bag or any other bag you want to use to collect the trash you pick up.

If you want to go even further for your planet, use a reusable trash bag. You can also use a trash picker, but it's not necessary.



2. Figure out your route.

You should know what your route is going to look like beforehand. Many suggest going to local parks and neighborhoods as good spots to start your plogging journey.

You should also be sure there is actually trash for you to pick up, because you can't go plogging without having litter to collect.

3. Go at your own pace.

Now that you know your route and are prepared, you can start plogging. Remember to go at your own pace.

If you feel like jogging is too much, try a brisk walk. If you feel jogging is too little, switch to a run. You could even skip if you wanted to.

The point of the exercise is to get your heart rate up, so whatever gets you there, go for it.

4. Invite friends to join.

One great way to spend quality time with your friends or loved ones is by saving the planet.

Get your friends involved. Go for an afternoon plog together and see who can pick up the most litter. You can even create a prize for the winner!

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Molly Given is a writer and former contributor to YourTango. Her work has been featured on MSN, Metro, Yahoo Life, Patch, Dan's Papers and more.