Get Plogging!! Combining fitness with a good cause.

Did you say plogging?

Plogging is an exercise movement, originating in Sweden, that is spreading around the globe.

The word ‘plogging’ or ’plocka upp’ is a mix of Swedish words for ’to jog’ and ’to pick up’.

Started by Erik Ahlstrom after he noticed a lot of litter during his daily bicycle commute, plogging is collecting rubbish while on the run. Or for the walkers out there, it is known as plalks – walk while picking up rubbish.

Social media has helped spread the plogging movement. After appearing on Instagram back in 2016, this trend has gained popularity spreading to almost every continent.

It’s a run club with a purpose

This fitness craze has taken off in Australia, particularly in Byron Bay and Footscray, Victoria.

Members of the Byron Bay Runners group have taken to the trend with member Geoff Bensley founding the Facebook Plogging Australia Group.

The Byron Bay group usually focuses on the beach areas and keeping plastic out of the ocean. They find mostly single-use plastic bags, bottle tops, straws and cigarette butts.

The Footscray Rubbish Runners are also doing their bit to help the environment.

The group aptly began on Clean up Australia Day by Derek Atkinson and is gaining followers who have set their sights on improved fitness and weight loss while plogging.

Not purely an environmental benefit, you too could realise the varied health benefits of plogging including:

• obvious cardiovascular benefits of jogging, or walking, coupled with the added benefit of squatting, lunging and carrying

• flexibility required to reach and bend

• extra load and weight to challenge you • improvements in physical AND mental health

• plog in a group – walk or jog with friends

• helps control your weight

AND all the other benefits of jogging or walking:

• reduces stress by boosting serotonin in your brain

• improved self-esteem, and

• improved mental stamina

How can you get plogging?

• Scour social media for existing plogging groups

• Start your own local plogging group

• Create a work running group in your lunch hour

• Simply plog on your own

Any day is clean-up day – so encourage your friends and family to join the war on waste.

Australians produce 540 kg of household waste per person each year.

We all need to participate in reducing rubbish entering our waterways, our environment and the waste sent to landfill.

With our combined efforts, we can all do small acts of environmental kindness to make a massive difference.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” – Howard Zinn.

Create or join a community, business or school clean up event. Jump online at www.cleanup. org.au/campaigns.