Plogging: The green fitness mantra with twin benefits

Plogging: The new fitness mantra with twin benefits
A group of people engaged in plogging near Yeoor lake in Thane, Maharashtra. The group has set aside one day in a week for plogging. Photo: Vishnu V Nair/Manorama

Plogging is the new trend among fitness-conscious people who are keen on protecting the environment too. The exercise originated in Sweden and soon earned followers in other countries, including India.

It is similar to jogging, trekking and walking but with a major difference; while engaged in the exercise, the rubbish strewn along the way is picked up.

The term plogging came from the Swedish word ‘plocka upp’ which means ‘pick up’. With environment-conscious people getting interested in the task, plogging has become popular around the world. Practitioners include not only youths and students, but also senior citizens and differently abled. All of them are glad to support a cause along with improving their physical fitness.

Ploggers collect garbage while engaged in regular walking, jogging or trekking in the hill with friends. They pick up discarded bottles, packets, soft drink cans, diapers, plastic carry bags, cigarette covers, plastic glasses, utensils and any such item. All these materials are collected in eco-friendly bags and are taken to the processing centres.

When this activity is carried out as a group, it offers fun along with fitness. With such groups becoming active abroad, Indians too have followed suit. Plogging first appeared in the country at Thane in Maharashtra. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru soon picked up the trend.

Plogging parties are a regular affair at many places now. They involve groups cleaning an area of the forest, a river bank or a public place accompanied by singing and exercise.

A few weeks ago, a plogging party with 30 participants at Bannerghatta national park in Karnataka collected around 500 kg of garbage.

The first plogging party in Kerala was arranged by a group of engineering students in Kochi. It is felt that plogging can solve the state’s garbage issue if many people practise it. The exercise also offers a solution to obesity and lifestyle diseases haunting Keralites.

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