Leave it to the Swedes to combine physical fitness with PICKING UP LITTER!
If Christopher Guest and crew were to make a mockumentary, a la Spinal Tap, about the warm-and-fuzzy cultural traditions of Scandinavia, they might have very well come up with "plogging." They would portray wholesome Swedes running like gazelles through pretty Swedish landscapes, bounding with Swedish altruism as they stop, stoop, and pick up a pieces of Swedish litter to carry along with them for proper disposal. And it would be hilarious. But what's even better than this imagined satire is that it is real! And it is awesome.
Apparently, the term is a portmanteau word combining "picking up" and "running" and given the examples collected under the Instagram hashtag #plogging, it's become a popular pastime.
Picking up trash while going for a run is the new thing! Today this great crowd did parts of Östermalm and Humlegården. The trash in the blue bags is what we found in just 90 minutes! #plogging #ileavenothingbutfootprints #trash #running #run #makeadifference #teamwork #löpning @erikahlstromsweden @salomonrunningswe #saucony @suunto_sverige @friluftsframjandet @satilaofsweden @tierrasweden @aclima_norway @plogga
While I was surprised that there is litter in Sweden in the first place (must be from tourists), what's not to love about combining physical fitness with some good eco deeds? You boost your health while getting some litter in the garbage or recycling, where it can't degrade in nature and/or harm wildlife. How feel-good is that?
And not only that, but as Metro.co.uk's resident fitness expert Miranda Larbi points out, it's a good workout no less! "Plogging shares some characteristics with interval training, which uses recovery to improve fitness and fat burning. It’s also got elements of mobility training," she says, "reaching down to pick up rubbish will extend the range of motion that you’re using."
No, we don't have Scandinavia-envy at all. Nope, not at all... (BRB, lacing up the plogging shoes.)