We're talking about plogging, the Swedish practice of picking up litter while running that's taking over stateside—and it's basically the best way to transform your sweat sesh into an eco-friendly interlude.
"Finding a way to give back is almost as important as finding a way to get in a workout," says running expert Chris Heuisler, Global RunWESTIN Concierge. "If you can merge the two, then it becomes a win win. Plogging seems to check both boxes: You get in a workout, and you give back at the same time."
"Plogging seems to check both boxes: You get in a workout, and you give back at the same time."
This year, Westin Hotels & Resorts is bringing plogging to New York City for its annual Global Running Day celebration on June 6, and you can get in on the (sweaty) action.
Plus, Westin is partnering with Charity Miles to help you give back—because when it comes to wellness, the hotel powerhouse is serious about supporting yours from the inside out. (For real: You even get Sleep Well Lavender Balm with essential oil by your bed at every stay.) When you stay at a Westin and sign up for the Charity Miles app, Westin will donate an extra $1 to the charity of your choice through August for every mile you run, walk, bike—or, plog.
Keep reading for 3 reasons plogging is the new must-try workout.
1. You're helping the planet
You take your leftovers to work in glass containers and make BYOB grocery runs (bring your own bag, that is). But you can literally go the extra environmentally friendly mile with your daily jog, too.
"I believe we can all benefit from doing more for the environment, so in that sense, plogging is better than running because it becomes about more than just exercise and sweating," Heuisler says.
"Running is the most-participated sport in the world."
But can interrupting your run to pick up a few pieces of trash really make a large-scale impact? According to Heuisler, absolutely.
"If enough runners and walkers are open to the idea of adding plogging to their routine just once a month, then yes, we can make an impact," he says. "Running is the most-participated sport in the world. The numbers are there. Now it’s just a matter of getting [people] to buy into the ideology behind [plogging]."
2. It's a more dynamic form of exercise
Crushing a multi-mile run is always going to be a great way to get your heart pumping, but plogging adds a level of intensity to your workout you don't get from pounding the pavement alone.
"From a physiological perspective, plogging has the potential to add lunges and squats to your routine, and just about every runner I know can benefit from both of those exercises," Heuisler says.
Plus, it's an opportunity to welcome mood-boosting reflection, which can actually help make your workout more effective overall.
"As long as someone feels emotionally connected to a cause, they have the potential to push harder," Heuisler explains. "Having the ability to get outside of your own head might delay normal pain receptors, which can tell you to slow down or pull back."
3. It's the ultimate buddy workout
Unlike in a HIIT class—when the music is blasting and you're so breathless you can hardly speak—plogging is a modality that encourages conversation.
"Most fitness activities are better with friends...but in terms of plogging, specifically, picking up trash with a group allows you to potentially make more of an impact," Heuisler says.
That will definitely be the case at Westin's June 6 running fest—and you'll all be treated to breakfast after. Race you to the iced coffee.
Want to be a part of Westin's Global Running Day event? It's all going down on June 6 at 7:30 a.m., starting at The Westin New York at Times Square. All you need to do is show up—and forward to your running BFFs.
Top photo: Stocksy/GIC
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