Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

This post comes from Sarah McMichael, Senior Marketing Specialist at Ontario Parks.

Have you ever seen trash littering our roads, sidewalks, and trails?

How many times have you walked past this trash while out for a walk, run or jog? Did you pick it up or leave it on the ground?

A new eco-friendly workout trend encourages you to stop and pick up trash during your outdoor workouts.

It’s called plogging and it’s an amazing way to keep our environment and our bodies healthy at the same time.

What is plogging?

Woman bends down to pick up trashPhoto: Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

It may have a funny name, but the concept of plogging is simple.

Environmentally friendly people go for a run and bring an empty garbage bag to collect garbage along the way. During your run, you’re prepared to pause and pick up trash as you see it.

Garbage in the field

All you need is:

  • An empty bag (try using a reusable bag!)
  • Gloves (again, reusable is best)
  • Running shoes

Blogging can be done individually or in a group. Either way, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can fill a trash bag during a short run!

Plogging started as a fitness trend in Sweden in 2016. It spread from country to country, and now people around the world are adopting plogging as a way to exercise while taking care of our environment.

Good for mind and body.

Two runners stretchPhoto: Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Plogging really is a great exercise!

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The movement of bending down to pick things up exercises new muscle groups in the body.

For an even better workout, avid loggers can add lunges or squats. If you combine this with the cardio exercise of jogging, you’re looking at a great way to stay fit.

Plus, exercising outdoors has a host of health benefits on its own!

Nature has been proven to be good for our minds and bodies. He Healthy Parks Healthy People The movement celebrates the positive effect that nature has on our health.

Women run on the beach

Exercising in nature has a more positive effect on blood pressure and mood than exercising in a gym. It has also been discovered that contact with nature strengthens the immune system, helps mitigate diseases and reduce stress levels.

And don’t forget the mental benefits! Memory performance and attention span also improve by 20% after spending just one hour interacting with nature.

Protecting the environment

Landscape of waterfalls and trees with blue sky.

Plogging is something bigger than just exercising. It’s about doing your part to protect our natural environment.

At Ontario Parks, we strive to protect and restore diverse ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems support healthy people and a healthy economy.

Picking up litter is your way of turning a daily jog into an interactive opportunity to give back to these valuable ecosystems. Cleaning up trash also keeps it away from our wildlife, avoiding dangerous repercussions for them.

A woman pauses while running to pick up trashPhoto: Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Are you ready to start plogging?

Go the extra mile and register your plogging cleanup with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Select a date and time on the Lead a Cleanup map and be part of the national network of volunteers taking action to help our waterways.

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Be sure to document your online plogging efforts with #plogging!

Happy trails!