Plogging: the fitness craze that’s sweeping the streets

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Plogging: the fitness craze that’s sweeping the streets” was written by Steven Poole, for The Guardian on Saturday 31st March 2018 16.30 Asia/Kolkata

Fitness crazes, like much else, are born of lexical innovation: “spinning” for riding stationary bicycles, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for running fast then slow. The latest happy innovation, from Scandinavia by way of France and Thailand, is “plogging”: jogging while picking up litter.

Oxford Dictionaries explains plogging’s Swedish derivation, from “either plocka upp (pick up) or plocka skräp (pick up litter) and jogga (jog)”. Jogging used to mean walking or riding a horse at a slow, jerky pace, until in the 1960s it was repurposed for healthy exercise, but these days it already sounds rather old-fashioned. As part of the general rhetorical professionalisation of leisure activity, people have for years been going “running”, like Olympians, instead of merely jogging.

Still, plogging, with its environmentally conscious public spirit, should be welcomed by governments hoping to save money on official street sweepers. In future, teams of citizen volunteers could surely help in other areas by cogging (caring for old people while jogging) or brogging (planning for Brexit while jogging). We have nothing to lose but our aversion to portmanteau words.

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Plogging: the fitness craze that's sweeping the streets | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).