Pickup Game: Plogging

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

"This one's for you, multitaskers: Plogging ---- is a combo of plocka upp, which means "pick up" in Swedish, and jogging -- is the act of collecting trash as you exercise. The Scandinavian cleanup movement, spearheaded by environmentalist Erik Ahlstrom in response to Stockholm's heaping litter problem, has made its way Statewide, and it's as simple as it sounds: You can carry a lightweight bag, fill it with rubbish along your route, then toss your haul in a garbage or recycling bin when your run is done. The nonprofit Keep America Beautiful is encouraging people to post their efforts on social media with the hashtags #plogging and #DoBeautifulThings . The antilitter group also recently partnered with fitness-tracking app Lifesum, which now includes the practice in its list of activities. Trust us: You'll feel extra good after logging plogging miles." - Cathryne Keller (Oprah Magazine, April 2019 issue)

Fact: A half hour of plogging burns an estimated 288 calories - 50 more than regular jogging.

Benefits: "Plogging offers physical and mental benefits. Picking up trash while you run can help Mother Earth and make your hometown look a little cleaner, of course. But it also can benefit your running game—both mentally and physically, Kennihan explains. Physically speaking, running is a repetitive movement (Aaptiv, 2019)."


I am always looking for fun ways to exercise and this was a perfect way to not only exercise but also help keep America beautiful at the same time. This exercise makes me think of what I do naturally because my parents hate trash on their lawn so they didn't allow me and my sister to litter and we would always have chores that consisted of picking up the trash around the perimeters of our house. Now at thirteen years old on a Saturday morning, I'd rather been sleeping in late like my peers were fortunate to do, than picking up trash but hey, that habit continues to this day.

Going to the gym is just not one of those things that I love to do. I prefer non-traditional ways of exercising so that I can't really see it as exercising. I struggle doing toe touches, so clearly I'm not the one to be considered a "gym rat." I waited til it was a cool (and rainy) day in NOLA to do some 30 minute plogging and here's what I gathered after the experience:

First of all.........I wasn't ready to do jogging let alone plogging lol. I stretched first, walked a little bit because I DO NOT EXERCISE other than walking. I knew it was going to be a challenge but I did it anyway. Same philosophy in life: Things will be challenging if you've never done it, but do it anyway, it will get easier.

Now I was bit jealous of the joggers that passed me by several times on the path at first but I soon recognized that their experience of jogging exudes mine because they've been jogging longer than me. I did remember to breathe while running and I walked when I needed to drink some water and be physically abled to write this post lol.

I'm sure in a couple of days, my legs will be on fire but I can honestly say that plogging was a fun exercise to do and I will be doing it more often. Once I finished my route on the path, I tossed my garbage bag filled with trash into a nearby garbage can. I felt great afterwards. Not only did I do something beneficial for my body, I also helped clean up our environment, and that's what it's all about.


Below is an example of how plogging works:

Step 1: Jog along your desired route

Step 2: Identify trash in your route (you can pick up trash or recyclable items)

Step 3: Bend down and place item in trash bag

Step 4: Discard trash bag in a nearby trash can or recycle bin


Here's a link I found on the Washington Post, with personal stories and images about plogging: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/23/plogging-is-the-swedish-fitness-craze-for-people-who-want-to-save-the-planet-its-making-its-way-to-the-u-s/?utm_term=.ee383b

Here's a video clip of plogging from NBC Nightly News


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