Get In Line: Plogging Is The New Fitness Trend That Is Taking Over Our Social Media Pages
As effective as they can be, gym routines tend to get monotonous after a while. For the outdoors lover, Bengaluru resident and digital entrepreneur Jacob Cherian has the perfect activity to help you feel good while doing good for the environment. Join the plogging party — where the word plogging is a portmanteau of jogging and the Swedish phrase plocka upp meaning pick up. In simpler terms, this translates to a mash-up of jogging while picking up trash, benefiting both the people and their surroundings. While plogging is a new trend that seems to have taken over all our social media pages, Cherian has been picking up litter on treks ever since he set up base in Kodaikanal, two years ago. “I started doing it here in India because I strongly believe that it is the decent thing to do. I want to be in a spotlessly clean place and no one else is going to do this for me. I’ve discovered a number of people who feel the same way and are willing to join forces for the larger good,” he says. He set up a plogging and camping getaway in Kodaikanal, and thanks to Cherian, this Swedish fitness craze has gained quite a zealous following there. Cherian is now being invited to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kerala to run similar initiatives. Those interested can sign up for either a short or a long plog — the former being a steep 90-minute trek, which takes trekkers through ancient indigenous forests, while the latter comprises a five-hour trek, which is less steep but overall more strenuous. On both treks, he splits the group up into three types of trekkers — Pickers, Collectors and Sanitisers. Pickers have spike-staves to stab trash off the ground, the Collectors have bags to carry the trash, and the Sanitisers carry the drinking water, hand sanitiser and spare gloves for the rest of the team. As for what you stand to gain, Cherian explains, “Plogging exerts the upper body because of the act of picking up trash. It also exerts the lower body because you are either walking or running up and down hills or urban landscapes. It’s great for the legs because of the jogging and trekking. And it is good for the core because of the amount of bending and picking up required. You will feel results in a day, and you will see a change by the time you’re done with seven plogs.” This activity requires you to be mentally and physically prepared. “It takes one far out of their comfort zone. Unlike spinning, CrossFit or yoga, which are mostly done in a space that is often air-conditioned and has access to water and a toilet, plogging takes you out into the wild where these comforts are not accessible. So be prepared to go into that mental space for a couple of hours, because you can’t just hop off the bike, lie down, or go grab a cool drink. But once people get into it, I’ve seen them go all out. It mobilises people to join in the movement, because it normalises the act of picking up trash,” he smiles.