What is Plogging, and Why Should You Try it On Your Next Run?

Plogging, a combination of jogging and picking up litter, is a new trend dashing across the world.

Originating in Sweden in 2016, it has now made its way to other parts of the world, including Canada. It began as an organized activity to combat the increase of plastic pollution and is considered a trendy workout that benefits both plogger and nature.

When you add picking up garbage to running, you’re combining squatting, stretching and lifting with the cardio of jogging. This works your glutes, abs and arms, in addition to your already-fired up leg muscles from running. By alternating from running’s high heart rate to a lower heart rate of stopping to pick up trash, you’re practising a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is considered to be an effective workout for improving your overall health, including benefits such as increasing your metabolism and strengthening your heart.

You’ll also burn more calories, on average, than jogging alone. According to the Independent, 30 minutes of plogging can help you burn upwards of 20 per cent more calories than if you opted to skip the cleanup.

Not only can plogging help improve your health, it also helps clean up nature.

This Scandinavian workout has helped improve parks across the world, from the U.K., to the U.S. and Canada. The social media hashtag #plogging collects posts from ploggers worldwide, who share their experiences cleaning up areas where they live and work while exercising. The photos are astounding, showing cleanup results that, in some spots, rival those from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Conservation Volunteers during a coastal cleanup.

Like all exercise, plogging should be undertaken with caution. Keep an eye out for any hazards along your running route, such as fallen branches, rocks and dips in the trail, and be aware of what you’re picking up. Gloves should always be worn while picking up garbage.

As an avid runner and lifelong nature lover, I can’t wait to try out this new trend. It’s a workout that my body, and the environment, will thank me for!

This post was written by Raechel Bonomo and originally appeared on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s blog, Land Lines.

56 comments

Martha Ferris
Martha Ferris14 days ago

It works if you are just walking as well.

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RICKY S
RICKY S19 days ago

WOW

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Past Member
Past Member 19 days ago

cool

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Ruth S
Ruth S24 days ago

Thanks. I hope it catches on in USA!

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Anna R
Anna R25 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Angela J
Angela J27 days ago

Thanks

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R27 days ago

Thank you.

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Leanne K
Leanne K29 days ago

Margie F me too! New years day 10 years ago it was my resolution to just pick it up instead of walking past it. My god, I literally fill bins everywhere I go, including my own. What difference can one person make? Average minimum two shopping bags full per day over ten years and thats 7350 bags full. And that is me underestimating. I probably average 5 and there has been plenty of days its gotten over 30. Thats just on my daily walks. Imagine if more people did but that hasnt happened in ten years. Believe me, not one person has ever been inspired by my example. Ive been given more dirty looks and called junky more times than told i was a good girl. Now that is a weird thing to say. Thanks are rare.

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Leanne K
Leanne K29 days ago

Its ridiculous the percentage of people who mistake the act of picking up litter for something shady and thats when walking. Makes me laugh the thought of what people will think if you take off running. Now that is too funny

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Leanne K
Leanne K29 days ago

If thats the only way to get more people picking up litter, Im all for it! This article failed to note the weight lifting involved. A large enough bag of plastic is damn heavy and awkward the longer you have to lug it. Bins are few and far between. Try bags of stubbies!

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