Great Ways To Work Out While Helping The Planet |

plogging, jogging

Go green and get fit!

Do you want to get fit and healthy and help the environment? Combining exercise and eco-friendly activities is incredibly smart, and it’s not difficult either. In fact, some green forms of exercise have become “official” ways of working out.

If you want to join the growing green fitness trend, give these ideas a try.


Plogging is a unique form of exercise that’s great for getting in your recommended dose of cardio while helping the planet. This genius amalgamation of exercise and environmentalism is a workout that came about in Sweden in 2016.

Plogging is a calorie-burning combination of picking up any litter you spot on your jog and then disposing of it in an eco-friendly manner. The name “plogging” originates from the Swedish term ''plocka upp,'' meaning ''pick up”. Not only is plogging a brilliant way of exercising, but it also burns more calories than an average jog.

Instead of just running until you’re tired or have met your goal, you’re stopping and starting your jog repeatedly. This creates intermittent bursts of cardio which are great for burning extra calories. Plogging also requires you to bend down and collect trash and to carry the trash with you. This adds additional weight to your jog, which (you guessed it) burns more calories!

The average person jogging at an average speed for half an hour burns roughly 235 calories. But thirty minutes of plogging reportedly burns around 288 calories on average.

Plogging is versatile too. You can add a few extra exercises into your plogging routine to burn extra calories while picking up trash. Adding weight training, yoga, stretches, and squats every time you stop to pick up litter will increase your cardio and get that blood pumping.


This unique activity is similar to plogging. The name comes from combining the words straw and snorkeling. Strawkling came about when a group of Australian surfers became concerned about the huge amount of plastic in the sea. They started bringing groups of enthusiasts together to snorkel and collect plastic straws and other litter in the water. At the time, straws and small pieces of plastic were one of the biggest threats to marine life and biodiversity in the ocean environment.

Strawkling has now expanded to collecting trash on beaches and snorkeling to collect any foreign objects under the water, not just straws.

This relaxing activity can help to reduce stress and it’s an excellent workout. Snorkeling, swimming, and diving to collect straws or trash on the ocean floor can burn up to 350 calories in a single hour.

Green Commuting

Another way of helping the environment and exercising at the same time is to ditch the car, taxi or subway and use your body as a vehicle. Choose to walk, ride a bicycle, rollerblade or skateboard, even if it's only part of the way to your destination. This significantly lowers your carbon footprint over time and increases your activity levels. Plus, getting outdoors is always good for you!

Green commuting is a great way to get fit and save the planet, and it will also save you gas and transport money, so it’s a triple win.

Tree Planting

Planting trees is probably one of the most satisfying ways to help the planet and stay fit at the same time. There are currently almost 8 billion people on Earth. If every single person planted a tree each year for the next 20 years, that would mean roughly 160 billion new trees. One tree per year is not a big ask at all, so why not try one tree a month for the next 20 years?

The physical activity required for tree planting can be quite intense, depending on your fitness level. From digging the holes to carrying all the trees and replacing the soil, you can burn between 100 to 200 calories in 30 minutes.

If tree planting isn't something that you can do regularly, swap it out for gardening. But not just any ​​gardening—ensure that you include squats, jumps, short runs and other forms of cardio while you’re sweeping up leaves, mowing the lawn or tidying up flower beds. You can also volunteer at local parks and get in a green workout that way.

Green Gym

There are two ways you can implement this idea.

In the UK, the “green gym” movement has been around since the late 1970s. Green gym members volunteer to clear woodlands and keep parks neat and tidy as there aren't always funds available to pay for these services. Volunteers are guided through a gentle warm-up and then work on organized tasks that improve the area. If you can’t find a green gym group in your area you can start your own, or adopt the principle and do it yourself.

The second green gym idea is simply to take your workout outside. Gyms and fitness centers use huge amounts of energy and you usually have to drive to them or use public transport. If you can do all or most of your workout outdoors, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. There are plenty of online workout programs ‌you can use as inspiration, and you can get creative with equipment, too. Use fallen branches or rocks as weights, do pull-ups on low-hanging branches, and run up and down hills to mimic the incline of a treadmill.

Donate Your Workout To Environmental Causes

If you’re looking for a more indirect way to green your exercise routine this may be it! There are numerous apps that donate money to charity if you log your workouts. The more miles you log for a run or cycle or lengths you swim, the more money gets donated. There are reforestation programs, sustainable farming charities, local eco-focused upliftment programs, and a wealth of other green causes that can benefit from your activity.

Get Moving The Green Way

It's time for radical responsibility, self-reliance, and action! Getting fit is good for you​​—it can be good for the planet too. Why not start with picking up some trash on your next jog?

We Want to Hear From You

Which of these activities are you going to try?

Message us on Instagram @womendotcom or Facebook to tell us!