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"Plogging", an eco-friendly Scandinavian trend that quickly grew in popularity abroad, is hailed as the latest urban fitness boom in China under the label of "trash running".
Fitness communities – through independent exercises at community events, often joined by urban dwellers – are increasingly exploring this lifestyle in Chinese cities.
In a nutshell, plogging is picking up trash while taking on a run.
If you haven"t caught up, it is a form of exercise said to have originated in Sweden in 2016, where the term was first coined from the Swedish phrase "plocka upp," meaning to pick up, and jogging.
Reportedly initiated by a Swede named Erik Ahlstrom, who made trash-picking part of his workout routine when surprised by the amount of trash overtaking the streets after moving to Stockholm from a small town in Sweden, plogging sees participants pick up plastic litter while jogging, and adds a virtuous, environmentally driven element to the sports.
The cause of running while cleaning the environment has become a hit on social media, and numerous joggers in China are going green and going on about their exercise routines while wearing a pair of plastic gloves and carrying a garbage bag.
The Swedish fitness trend has proven to be more than just a faze. It"s a win-win for everyone.
In Shanghai, a plogging group called Trash Runners founded by Celina Eisenring from Switzerland, and Kate Sogor from Hungary, schedules running meet-ups regularly to pick up trash along her running route.
The regular trash run takes place every Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Routes are rotated and each run is about 6 kilometers and a larger-scale plog is scheduled during the weekend, involving runs farther away from the city.
The founders said they were prepared to have just the two of them when it started, now the plogging group has close to 450 members.
The runners believe in strength in numbers, and enjoy the social side of plogging which allows them to make friends easily.
The run is designed for anyone to take part. By adding regular squats to pick up trash and carrying weights.
Plogging burns about 288 calories per hour, 53 more calories per hour than average jogging, according to data from fitness apps, Beijing Youth Daily reports.