Health tips by Barmer: Good for your health and the environment

Health tips by Barmer: Good for your health and the environment

Whether it’s a running group with colleagues or a quick jog before work: anyone who runs knows how good exercise in the fresh air feels – and often sees how much rubbish there is lying by the side of the road. A group of Swedish runners noticed this too and decided to do something about it: the next time they met for a run, they took a few bin bags with them and picked up all the rubbish they found. Not only did they get fitter, but they also gave themselves a rubbish- free running route. This trend soon spread from Stockholm to the whole world and was quickly given a name as well: “plogging” – a combination of “jogging” and the Swedish word “plocka”, which means (and sounds a little like) “pick up”. Since then, runners all over the world have been grabbing their running shoes and bin bags and setting off to go plogging, alone or together. The best thing is: plogging turns a bin bag into a piece of exercise equipment. If you don’t want to touch the rubbish with your bare hands you should also bring a pair of gloves. 

Interval training and environmental protection in one

We all move far too little in our day-to-day working lives, despite good intentions – usually there’s simply not enough time. So it’s handy when we can combine two things: after all, plogging is not only good for the environment and nature, but also for our health and fitness. Stopping your run at every bottle cap, takeaway cup or plastic item is a good way to increase your endurance. And varying your running speed between the small stops is a great form of interval training. So don’t be afraid to sprint now and then. If that’s not enough, throw in a few push-ups or lunges. The combination of endurance and strength elements results in a varied workout that gets the heart and circulatory system going and can boost the burning of fat.

Plogging for everyone: Put on your running shoes, pack your bin bag and get plogging

If your bin bag gets too heavy, you can put it in a well-fitting sports backpack, so the weight is distributed more evenly over your back. Alternatively, fill two bin bags equally so that you carry one bag in each hand. This way you will avoid putting strain on one side alone and the bags also serve as a dumbbell substitute. And where should you put the rubbish? If you can’t or don’t want to dispose of the waste you’ve collected in your own household waste, you should take it to the nearest public waste bin.

Plogging attracts even the most reluctant runners

You don’t really enjoy jogging? No problem: even on a quick walk during your lunch break or after work you can grab a bin bag and pick up everything you find! This slower version of plogging is also good for your body and the environment. So perhaps plogging will even lure outside those who usually find running or walking boring.