Plogging: the new sport that combines fitness and environment

The seasons have changed and the climate is no longer what it was. Faced with this panorama, we often ask ourselves what we can do to be more ecological and contribute positively to the environment. What do you think if we told you that you can combine an activity as healthy as going for a run with recycling? That is precisely what plogging is all about, a new sport that is gaining more and more followers. We explain what it consists of!

What is plogging?

Plogging is a sports modality that emerged in Sweden that manages to add a new dimension to the fact of practicing exercise on a regular basis. Its concept mixes environmental awareness and the search for an active lifestyle, since it combines  jogging with the active search for garbage to pick it up.

So, to practice plogging, in addition to dressing in your usual sports clothes and putting on some good running shoes, you will need to take a few bags with you. And it is that this modality demands that you get involved in each of your outings to go running making the world a cleaner place. In this way, you will not only practice jogging, but you will also collect all the waste that you find on the route that you establish.

Because there is, unfortunately, a great deal of trash on the streets, parks, beaches, or in any other public setting, plogging can be done almost anywhere. This fact encourages many people to get out of their usual routes, moved by the challenge of collecting as much garbage as possible while completing their jogging journeys.

How did plogging come about?

The word plogging comes from the terms “jogging” (to play sports by running) and “plocka upp” (which in Swedish means “to collect”). This discipline originated in 2016 in Stockholm, by Erik Ahlström. Ahlström had recently moved to the Swedish capital and decided that his exercise routine could incorporate an ecological factor and service to the environment.

That is how he decided that his jogging routes would include picking up garbage that he found in his path and that, for one reason or another, remained uncollected in various public places. What started as an individual gesture spread, to the point of spreading worldwide? Quickly, social networks contributed to the vitalization of plogging, a fact that made it easier for many people to add it to their sports routines.

Without going any further, the so-called “Plogging Tour” was held in Ibiza , where more than 1,500 people decided to meet to give this practice greater resonance and encourage other people to carry it out. The phenomenon goes much further: neither more nor less than more than 100 countries around the world have already joined this initiative, a number that is increasing every day and that accumulates more and more followers on its official page and social networks.

Sport and environment

Physical activity and the environment are two concepts that very often go hand in hand.  And it is that, despite the fact that many sports disciplines involve visiting a gym or an authorized center, the truth is that there are many other modalities that allow you to take care of your health while enjoying the outdoors.

Plogging goes a step further in this common communion of physical activity in the natural environment, making people really get involved as part of an ecological movement.  Thanks to gestures like this, awareness is possible, and also a way to significantly improve our usual environment becomes effective.

Although plogging was born as a discipline that combined jogging with garbage collection, due to the large amount of waste that we can find in many places, its practice can be combined with alternatives to running. More and more people are incorporating this gesture while cycling, as well as those who practice water sports. Aquatic surfaces are very damaged ecosystems due to the dumping of garbage, so it is very easy to integrate plogging into them.

Benefits of plogging

Plogging, in addition to making a more ecological reality possible, adds very interesting aspects in terms of health and active life. And it is that having to run and bend down continuously to pick up the waste helps to increase the burning of calories. The extra squats that are added to the race are an additional effort that your body will notice positively.

On the other hand, one of the advantages of plogging is that it is an easy activity to be carried out by people of any age and physical condition. Everyone can regulate the pace, intensity and difficulty of the route as they see fit, so that it is a very accessible sport, even if you are just starting to run.

Social networks are full of images of people collecting containers, plastics, butts, chewing gum and all kinds of waste while practicing plogging. One more way to make visible the ecological awareness that the world needs and to viralize the small gestures that make it possible to improve the environment. For all these reasons, plogging is the perfect way to practice a sport that is highly beneficial for your health, while investing part of your time in improving your environment through a sustainable initiative.


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