How Sweden’s full body workout is taking over
Sweden is responsible for bringing the world some of its most popular apps, brands and gadgets. From Skype and Spotify to Ikea and H&M — the Swedes are known for their catchy concepts — the latest of which is a fitness trend known as Plogging.
Plogging, also known as picking up trash while jogging may not seem revolutionary, but it’s certainly providing fodder for the world of social media — in the last week alone, more than 800 people have used the hashtag #plogging to show off their jogging hauls. So where does the name come from? It’s a combination of the words “plucking” and “jogging.”
Certified personal trainer and behavioral change therapist Charles F. Porter tells Moneyish: “There are two great things about this type of exercise. You get the added benefit of carrying a few extra pounds and you’re bending over and doing squats, which is a move that’s fundamental to your everyday life. You’re getting a full body workout.” Another bonus, it’s beneficial for the environment. “You’re helping the planet and that can encourage others to participate, especially if it’s a social media phenomenon, everyone wants to jump on that bandwagon,” says Porter.
And since Sweden has ranked first among the global contribution to health and wellbeing according to The Good Country Index, it seems they’re onto something with this eco-friendly fitness method.
According to Statista, more than 64 million Americans went running or jogging in 2016, while 110 million used walking as a form of exercise. Had each of these people plucked a few pieces of garbage every time they pounded the pavement, cities and communities would likely see less litter. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate 4.4 pounds of trash per person per day, with the most common items consisting of food, paper, plastics, wood, metals and yard trimmings.
Seattle-based ultramarathon runner Margaret Young tells Moneyish, “It’s great that plogging is a trending word and people will think it’s Nordicly cool to pick up trash, but most trail runners and leave-no-trace believers have been practicing this already. My pockets are usually stuffed with other people’s trash when I get home from a hike or run.”
Instead of signing up for a clean up day sponsored by The Nature Conservancy one day a year, turning your workout into an activity that not only provides physical benefits but also gives you a psychological boost and helps the planet can become routine. “It seems silly that we need to have a special word for something that people should be doing anyway, but if it gets the trash picked up, I’m all for it,” says Young.
It seems to be working. On Twitter, people around the world aren’t just commenting on Plogging, they’re posting photos of themselves and others bending over to pick up trash while exercising. Global Action Plan, an Irish sustainability company touts the form of fitness as helping the environment and your abs. For many, Plogging in groups seems to be popular and some folks are even seeking out fellow people to go Plogging with, like @Catboy92 who tweeted, “Does #Dubai have any #Ploggers yet?”
Just been talking about #Plogging.
The latest hipster trend out of Scandinavia… A portmanteau of #JOGGING and “Plocka upp” (meaning ‘pick up’)
Basically you collect litter whist jogging. Plenty of that to be done out here, right?
— Catboy – Dubai 92 (@Catboy92) February 14, 2018
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