Plogging: the Earth-Friendly Exercise Trend

If you’ve been looking for a way to be eco-friendly, try doing it while you exercise. A Swedish craze called plogging is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. This trendy exercise technique has found its way to the U.S., and you might just find out that you love it.

Plocka Upp

When you put the word “jogging” together with the Swedish phrase “plocka upp,” you get plogging. In Sweden, plocka upp means “pick up.” In short, when you go plogging you pick up trash while you’re running. 

Litter is unattractive. It makes communities look ugly, but it does a whole lot more than that. Litter can kill plants and animals and even start fires. It will also draw rats and other rodents to the littered areas, which is something that no one wants. Litter can even seep into the groundwater and effect a wide-ranging area of vegetation and wildlife.


If you’re serious about plogging, make sure you get all the gear you need to get started. First, you want a sturdy pair of gloves. You don’t want to pick up trash with your bare hands! Once you pick up the trash, you will need a place to put it — so bring a bag with you to carry the items you collect.

You are still going to jog, so be sure to slip into your athletic shoes and workout clothes before you head out. Get your smartwatch, cell phone, earbuds or any other items you need to have a good job, and try to commit to at least 30 minutes of trash-collecting while running.

Why Plogging?

Any little thing you can do for the environment is helpful, but plogging has plenty of health benefits to consider as well. When you pick up trash, don’t stop working out to pick it up. Perform a squat to collect the trash. Get creative, and try to be as quick and efficient about the process as possible to keep your heart rate up. If you’re making the planet look better, why not make yourself look better while you’re at it?

If you’re plogging correctly, you will burn more calories than you would in a standard jog. A Swedish fitness app tracked ploggers and found that the average running litter picker-upper burned 288 calories in 30 minutes. Compare that to 235 calories burned through traditional jogging alone in that same 30 minutes. All things considered, plogging as an exercise trend is looking a like a win-win.

Eco-Friendly Workout

If you’re a jogger, you’ve probably noticed litter along your running route. Try incorporating a little plogging into your regular running routine and see how it feels. You don’t have to completely replace jogging with plogging. Try it once a week or once a month, because anything you can do to help the environment can make a difference.

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