Plogging: All about the latest fitness trend | Loop Trinidad & Tobago

Plogging: All about the latest fitness trend | Loop Trinidad & Tobago

Although it started in 2016, plogging is an activity that has been growing in popularity with each passing year. It refers to the act of picking up garbage along the way while jogging.

Founded on ideas by Swedish native and outdoor enthusiast Erik Ahlström, the term ‘plogga’ is an acronym of the Swedish words for picking and jogging – ‘Plocka och jogga’. In English, the term ‘plogging’ is used.  

While many are familiar with beach cleanups, the idea of plogging is still relatively new. During Health Week at Loop News, we’re taking a closer look at this global fitness trend.  

Ploggers usually set out equipped with a bag and gloves so they can pick up garbage along their way. Once finished, they’re advised to dispose of the garbage responsibly and recycle it once possible.

While originally aimed at joggers, the movement has since expanded to include the terms ‘plalker’ – someone who picks up trash while walking as well as ‘pliker’ – a hiker or a biker who picks up trash. Whichever method you choose, the idea is to leave the space cleaner than before as a way of saving the environment.

Sometimes referred to as the plogga phenomenon, the practice seeks to contribute to a cleaner world, sustainable living and currently exists in over 100 countries across the world.

In addition to cleaner environments, the Plogga website highlights five main reasons to start plogging:

Health and exercise

Physical activity counteracts depression, obesity and cancer. The risk of these common diseases among people who are seated a lot and are physically inactive doubles. Plogging as a form of exercise can lead to healthier and happier living.

More plastic than fish in the seas

Research from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation presented at the World Economic Forum in 2016 shows that if we continue to produce and dispose of plastic at our current rate then the world’s oceans will consist of more plastic than fish in 2050. Fish eat microplastics which then eventually end up on our plates. Therefore, plogging reduces the quantity of plastic waste in the sea.

Save wildlife

Littering also threatens marine wildlife and birds. Scientists are now warning that we are heading into the sixth mass extinction of species due to climate change. For example, birds and dolphins get caught in fishing lines, nets and trawls and suffocate. Practice plogging as a way to save the animals.

Reduced social costs

When you go plogging, it’s often a stark realisation of just how much garbage and litter is in the environment. Doing your part to help eliminate this waste can reduce instances where taxpayers’ money is used to fund waste removal or its negative effects. That money could then be used for other important social work.

Safer society

It is proven that when an area feels cleaner and finer, security increases. In a nutshell, people’s perceptions change, they become more social and crime decreases. This is usually referred to as ‘The Broken Windows Theory’. While the effects may vary in each neighbourhood, it’s worth a try.

For your trip outdoors, try an environmentally conscious activity and consider plogging, plalking or pliking alone or with a group of friends.

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