Plogging is a new spin on exercise that allows us to make the world a healthier place while making sure we stay healthy too. Originating in Sweden in 2016, this trend has generated increased attention over the past 2 years, and it’s easy to see why!
This activity turns a boring old jog around your neighborhood into a unique type of scavenger hunt, all while improving your community, one piece of litter at a time! Not a runner? No problem! You can still participate with a simple walk while cleaning up the street, also known as plalking.
While jogging and walking are both fantastic aerobic exercises, plogging increases your workout potential by incorporating several functional activities, such as squatting, lunging, stretching, and maintaining balance. However, to avoid injury, follow these recommendations:
- Ensure you maintain proper form as you bend to pick up items from the ground. This includes bending at the knees, not at the waist.
- Be sure to come to a full stop before bending over, which will help avoid over-extension of joints and muscles.
- Perform squats or lunges in a slow and controlled manner to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your back, knees, and hips.
- When squatting, make sure you can see your toes past your knees, if you look down. Imagine you are sitting in a chair placed behind you.
- Avoid motions that cause pain to reduce the chances of inflammation following exercise.
If plogging sounds like it’s for you, here are a few tips which will help ensure a safe and healthy experience before you set out to clean up your neighborhood:
GERM PROTECTION: A good pair of gloves are a must to ensure protection from bacteria and germs. Some of stuff you’ll find can be pretty dirty!
PLASTIC BAGS: This one is a no-brainer, but it might be a good idea to pack an extra bag or two…you never know how many “treasures” you’ll find!
WARM-UP/COOL DOWN: No matter your age, a light warm-up before plogging and brief cool-down afterwards are always a good idea. Dynamic stretches (stretching as you are moving) before and static stretches (long holds in a stretched position) afterwards will help your muscles stay limber and healthy.
HYDRATION: Drink plenty of water! Our bodies love water and making sure you stay hydrated is an easy way to keep you energized and healthy.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a spin to your daily workout and would like to do your part to help clean up your community, get out and get plogging! Interest in plogging is growing and you are likely to find others who are passionate about it in your community. Check out the Lancaster Plogging Facebook page where like-minded people often plan group plogging outings for the community. Happy Plogging!