This Swedish Fitness Trend Benefits Both Your Body And The Environment

It's called "plogging."

Want to start being better to yourself and the environment? A fitness trend, founded by the Swedes, may just be the perfect solution — it's called plogging. The phrase, a combination of the words "pluck" and "jogging," involves collecting trash while you get some outdoor exercise. 

Basically, as you head out for a run, take a garbage bag with you and keep your eyes peeled for litter. Once you see some, stop, pick it up, and continue on your merry way.

The Stockholm-based group Plogga has created a community of ploggers who run while wearing gloves and carrying trash bags. Once the bag is full, they deposit it in an appropriate receptacle to cut down the amount of litter that makes its way into the ocean. According to a 2015 study published in Science, 19 billion pounds of plastic waste ends up in our oceans every year, polluting the water and harming marine life as a result

Plogging is a simple way for people to help change that. 

"It is all about doing something about our environment and health before it is too late," Plogga wrote on its Facebook page. "We have found a solution to the problem that makes it no longer taboo to pick up trash and clean up."

The practice helps people connect more positively with their environment, gets people out in nature, and encourages exercise. 

While the exercise fad hails from Sweden, it's spread to other communities around the world thanks to social media. If you search the #plogging hashtag on Instagram, you'll see hundreds of posts from people proudly showing how much trash they collected while getting their daily exercise in. While some plogging communities are starting to pop up in a variety of areas, you can also just gather a group of friends together to do it and see who can collect the most. 

Some have suggested that plogging shares characteristics with interval training because bursts of cardio are paused while you pick up trash, allowing yourself a brief recovery before you start up cardio again. Others highlight that it may increase mobility because you're extending your range of motion while reaching down. Plus, all that bending down may help you workout your core. You can even do a squat each time you find something to add to your trash bag. 

While the phrase incorporates the word jogging, that's just one activity you can do while plogging. The fitness trend is about getting any form of exercise in while cleaning up litter, so you can do anything from biking, to paddle boarding, to just taking your dog out for a walk.

Ready to get started? Lace up your running shoes, grab a trash bag and some gloves, and hit the trails. 

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