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Plogging: 5 Benefits of the Swedish Phenomenon

There’s a simple way you can combine physical exercise with environmentalism, and it comes down to a Swedish phenomenon. We’re talking about plogging here – let’s dive into what it is, how to do it and why you’ll want to.

Plogging is the act of jogging and picking up rubbish at the same time, hence the name. The global spread of this activity stems from a 2016 “plogga” event in Sweden where people came together to pick up litter while jogging – though some preferred to walk, cycle or run; as long as you’re moving, you’re doing it right! Since 2016, 3 million have set up their own plogga events with around 20, 000 people getting involved every day around the world. Here are 5 reasons to start plogging today.

Boost your mood

Plogging involves high-intensity physical activity, and as such, it can release endorphins in the brain – these are feel-good hormones which are known to reduce stress levels. It’s also a great way to take your mind off of distressing thoughts and prevent rumination as you’re forced to focus on the task at hand.

Unintentional HIIT

HIIT, also known as high intensity interval training, is a world-renowned exercise technique which boosts circulation, improves weight loss and burns fat long after the session is through. Plogging just so happens to combine a number of the elements involved in interval training, from squatting or lunging down to pick up rubbish to vacillating between jogging and stopping.

A dose of Vitamin D

Considering 30% of Aussies aren’t getting enough vitamin D, it’s worth getting outside for a bit of sunlight. This vitamin is essential for bone health and mood regulation, so why not combine your daily exercise with a dose of the sunshine vitamin? Plus, another Swedish concept known as frilufsliv involves connecting with nature and it’s believed to improve contentment and health, so a bit of plogging is a simple way to reap the mental and physical benefits of getting outside.

Social connection

You’ll likely find yourself running into a number of familiar faces when you start plogging, and in turn create a greater sense of community in your area. If you struggle with social interaction, this is also a great way to boost your confidence with some practice.

Cleaner environment

We have a massive issue with litter in Australia, costing the country $350 million dollars and resulting in pollution of our oceans. There are a number of reasons plogging can significantly improve the area:

  • People are less likely to litter places that are clean
  • People are more likely to litter in places that are already unclean
  • Litter left in the streets often travels to our oceans
  • Animals may choke on waste like plastic or aluminium pieces
  • Litter reduces the aesthetic appeal of a location
  • Litter can be dangerous, like broken glass and needles

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