Motivating yourself to exercise on your own can be difficult. Finding the time to be an active member of your community even more so. Lucky for us, the latest trend in outdoor exercising focuses on both of those things!

“Plogging” is a term that evolved from the word plogga invented by Swedish skier and runner Erik Ahlström. Now, in many parts of the world, plogging is a combination of “picking up” and “jogging,” that is picking up litter and waste on your jogging route. This started as a simple way to lessen the impact of trash on the environment that was largely an individual practice, like picking up bottle caps when you take a walk on the beach, but now it is becoming a global phenomenon.

Knowing what plogging is is just the first step, though. From there, people have taken this simple activity in every direction imaginable. They have formed clubs and gathered friends to make it not only an incredible and diverse way to be green and active, but also the perfect habit to develop over the course of the new year.

Plan a Plogging Route

If you are already an established outdoor runner, then you can jump into plogging on your normal route, but if not (or if you want to switch things up!), there are a few things you might want to consider. If you’re going to be putting the physical effort into cleaning up an area, even if it is only one plastic bottle at a time, you need to care about it! Pick an area that you are fond of or that obviously needs some plogging and plan your workout around it.

Don’t forget to focus on exercise as much as you focus on cleaning up your community. Plogging is incredible because it brings your personal goals and your wider more compassionate goals together. Try combining your trash goals with your workout goals to find a balance that is trackable and motivating!

Get Social

Plogging didn’t get popular because people wanted to go on lonely jogs picking up trash! Take a picture of everything you manage to pick up during your run and share it on Instagram. Invite your friends (furry friends count, too!) to go with you to cover a larger area. And once you get started, you’ll probably notice that strangers will get excited about your efforts and join in. It only takes one person to make a difference, but before you know it, you’ll be finding hundreds of other people who care as much as you do.

Getting started as a “plogger” is as easy as paying attention to what is on the ground when you run. Don’t pass by it! Pick it up and throw it away. From there, you can start planning on picking up more trash or even going so far as to bring bags, gloves, and hand sanitizer, if you want to do some serious picking up. No matter what you do, every step and every piece of trash make a difference.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.