There's a new fitness trend that's more productive than running nowhere on a treadmill or sidestepping litter during outdoor workouts. Known as "plogging," it involves picking up trash (or "plocka upp," in Swedish) while jogging. (See what they did there?!)
The environmentally-conscious activity seems to stem from Sweden, according to a recent report, and has traced the use of #Plogging on social media back to 2016.
However, in mid-February, Keep America Beautiful, a U.S. nonprofit that aspires to end littering, with international health app , which recently started to let users track plogging to raise awareness and get more people involved.
After all, the concept is pretty genius: Running is good for your , and trash collection is A+ for . You don't need a special membership or any extra equipment to get involved, and there are no rules: You can pick up a single cigarette butt, or fill an entire bag. Thereafter, you'll enjoy a cleaner running route.
Although interrupting sprints (i.e., when you charge for an empty bottle) with short breaks (picking it up) can increase your endurance, celebrity personal trainer , who is the owner of the fitness facility, , worries about the safety of running with your bounty.
"Walking with a weight on one side causes the opposite side of the body to engage for stability — and that's all good if you maintain proper posture and switch sides to train evenly," he says, adding that the practice raises your heart rate, which can help condition the body. "But running with a weight poses more risks than benefits."
In the same way you might overdevelop your right trapezoid muscles if you regularly carry a purse on your right shoulder, plogging can create imbalance, too. Ultimately, this could trigger back or neck pain and increase your risk of injury when performing movements like a standard push-up, which calls for strength on both sides of the body, he says.
It's why Saladino would recommend this trending activity only for seasoned runners, and he suggests switching hands when carrying litter, so you hold it for an equal amount of time on each side. To maximize plogging's benefits, if you're so inclined, he says you can squat or lunge to pick up the junk you find. "If anything doesn't feel right, stop," he adds. "There are better ways to exercise."