If you haven’t tried plogging yet, it’s time to get on board with this eco-friendly fitness trend. The incredibly popular activity of running while picking up trash along your route is something people enjoy all over the world, and for good reason. There are so many healthy benefits your body gains from plogging, and the science proves it. Read on for some amazing facts and food for thought. Set, Set, Let’s Learn Healthy Plogging Habits That Slow Aging!
Started by Erik Ahlström in Sweden, “plocka upp” (meaning plogging in Swedish) can be life-changing. Not only is the effort great for your overall physical and mental health, but it’s also pretty contagious and benefits the environment in a big way. You may even be inspired to start a plogging event in your own community and help spread this positive effort to friends and neighbors. As you help clean up your world, check out the many hacking habits that slow aging.
Everyone knows that too much stress, whether mental or physical, can be downright harmful to your mind and body. Stress is not simply an overwhelming feeling; it is also the cause of many serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease, dementia and even premature death.
Let’s look at some statistics on the harmful results of stress. People who work 55 hours or more of stressful work each week have a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of death from heart disease compared to those who work a lighter 35 to 40-hour week, according to a study (via NPR). The ability to recover from any type of stress on the body apparently decreases as we age. Research reveals that an 80-year-old can take 3 times longer to recover from any type of stress compared to a 40-year-old, according to a study conducted by a Singapore-based biotech company called Gero (a through CNET).
The most effective ways to deal with stress are regular exercise, in addition to getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious mostly plant-based diet, being social and meditating, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Dr. Shalu Ramchandani, an integrative medicine specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, explains, “If you’re practicing all these healthy habits, it’s going to help you to be more resilient and to be more able to adapt to difficult situations in life.”
Bottom line? It’s crucial to your overall well-being to get up, get moving, and fuel your body and mind with exercise. A plogging routine will have you fully covered on both counts!
Related: The No. 1 Strength Training Workout for Rebuilding Muscle as You Age, Says Trainer
Your body benefits from every exercise you can incorporate into your schedule. In addition to being a great mood booster and strength builder, solid cardiovascular training has been shown to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases, Harvard Health Publishing reports That said, research shows that aerobic activity can help you live even longer. So what are you waiting for? Put on your sneakers, grab a trash bag, and be on your way, because your heart is sure to thank you.
Related: Top 5 Aging-Slowing Walking Habits, Fitness Expert Reveals
Your heart will beat with pride as a result of your plogging efforts, and a happy heart is a healthy one. Serving your community in a special way is old fashioned. Studies have shown that the more selfless acts you perform, the more happiness you will experience and help you live longer.
Research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University reveals that people aged 51 and older who consistently volunteered their time had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure than adults who did not. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, heart disease and early death. People who volunteered at least 200 hours each year reduced their high blood pressure by up to 40%. Research indicates that doing this kind of volunteer work could be an effective method of helping you avoid high blood pressure.
Volunteering your time to clean up your community while exercising is a selfless and enjoyable thing to do. You will achieve a lot of positive things while doing it.
Your environment is integral to your mood and overall health. Not only are the air you breathe and the food you eat negatively compromised by pollutants, but a community that has litter strewn about can also encourage other residents and people traveling to that particular place to litter.
Apart from being a rather unattractive sight, think about where the loose rubbish ends up. One place is in storm drains, which feed into lakes, streams, rivers and oceans, exposing fish (your seafood) and more to bacteria. The soil can also be contaminated with the harmful chemicals that come from the garbage. And for easy disposal of trash, it’s usually burned, which can release a substantial amount of toxic gases and particulate matter into Earth’s atmosphere, according to World Atlas. This can lead to breathing problems and health problems.
Doing your bit to keep your environment clean not only inspires others to keep it that way, but also helps create a clean world to live, eat and breathe. This is one big golden reason why plogging makes so much sense. Consider inspiring a large number of ploggers to get plenty of exercise while cleaning up the land. The activity can motivate people to be aware of not littering in the first place!
Alexa is Eat This, Not That!’s Associate Mind + Body Editor, overseeing the M+B channel and bringing readers compelling topics on fitness, wellness, and self-care. Read more about Alexa