Two birds in one stone, this expression is an apt description of this fitness activity. Picking up trash while jogging is known as ‘plogging’. The trend was coined in Sweden in 2016 by 57-year old Erik Ahlström from the town of Are. According to a statement by Ahlström, he found a lot of litter on the streets of Stockholm, after having lived in the north of Sweden. In his statement, he also shed light on the amount of waste found on the streets: about three million cigarette butts were thrown away in Sweden every day. In addition, he also worried about the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans. The clean –up became all the more serious because most of the plastic waste came originally from the land.
The activity of picking up waste while on the run became an instant hit among fitness groups based on its double advantage: good for the body, good for the environment. During their run, the ploggers disperse into pathways and into the bushes and trees in order to collect plastic and paper that they later dispose of in a trash can near their starting point. People across the globe quickly took a liking to this one among many other lifestyle trends from the Nordic. The word plogging is a combination of ’plocka’ and ’jogga’, meaning ’picking (up)’ and ’jogging’ in Swedish.
Data from a fitness app, Lifesum also validates the effectiveness of this fitness regime, confirming it to be more effective in burning calories than jogging. Reports suggest one hour of plogging burns 288 calories on an average, compared to an average of 235 calories from the solitary activity of jogging. Moreover, plogging comes with the added benefit that participants are simultaneously cleaning up their local communities. The eco-friendly fitness craze gained a foothold among fitness enthusiasts across the globe. News of plogging among health groups started making rounds in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, China, Thailand, and India. In a recent development, a world record was made in Mexico City with four thousand people taking to the activity of plogging in one day. A much impressive number was set by about 10 thousand people, who undertook plogging regularly in India.