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Plogging: A Fitness Trend That’s Great for You and the Environment

Looking for an activity that’s good for you, great for the environment, and perfect for celebrating Earth Day later this month (April 22)? Consider plogging, a trendy and civic-minded fitness activity that was first organized in Sweden in 2016.  Erik Ahlström, a skier and trail runner, coined the term “plogga” (as it is called in Swedish) by combining the words “jogging” and “plocka up” (Swedish for “pick up”).

What Is Plogging?

The concept of blogging is simple: while you’re taking a stroll around your neighborhood, hiking on your local trail, or jogging in a park, pick up any trash you see along your route. The goal is to keep moving as you pick up the items, keeping your heart rate up and adding to the challenge.

Plogging Gear

We know that Wisconsinites and Michiganders love their gear, but the equipment you need for plogging is minimal: proper clothing and running/walking shoes, a bag, and gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges, dirt, and germs on whatever you might pick up.

A Global Movement Fits in Perfectly with the Up North Lifestyle

Believe it or not, this simple, environmentally friendly activity has gained traction and popularity around the world! There are plogging-themed social media accounts and even organized plogging events everywhere from Sweden to the United States to New Zealand to India. For instance, check out this Plogging U.S.A. Facebook group or search #ploggingusa on Instagram to inspire your first plogging adventure.

A Great Workout

While stooping down to pick up litter during a run probably won’t result in a PR, plogging is an excellent way to improve your overall fitness. In fact, the bending, stooping, twisting, lifting, and carrying motions involved in plogging may help you burn an estimated 15 to 30 percent more calories than traditional running! Although ultra-marathon runners who were covering a lot of ground on their long runs were among the most enthusiastic early adopters of plogging, this exercise need not be limited to runners. Just bring a trash bag and gloves with you on your next walk, hike, bike ride, or even kayak trip, and embrace this challenge.


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