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The Plogging Habits That Slow Aging, Science Reveals

As you help clean up your world, take a look at the many plogging habits that slow aging.

If you haven't tried plogging yet, it's about time you hop on this fitness trend that's great for the environment. The incredibly popular activity of jogging while picking up trash along your route is something individuals are having fun with across the globe—and for good reason. There's so much healthy goodness your body gains from plogging, and science proves it. Read on for some astounding facts and food for thought. Ready, set, let's learn the wholesome plogging habits that slow aging!

Started by Erik Ahlström in Sweden, "plocka upp" (which means plogging in Swedish) can be life-changing. Not only is the endeavor extraordinary for your overall mental and physical fitness, but it's also quite infectious and benefits the environment in a seriously major way. You may even be inspired to initiate a plogging event in your own community and help spread this positive effort to friends and neighbors. As you help clean up your world, take a look at the many plogging habits that slow aging.

Plogging is a total mind and body stress reducer and reliever.

two women plogging

Everyone knows that too much stress—mental or physical—can be totally detrimental to your mind and body. Stress is not simply an overwhelming feeling; it's also the cause of many serious health issues, including stroke, heart disease, dementia, and even early death.

Let's look at some statistics on the harmful results of stress. Individuals who maintain a stressful 55 hours or more of work every week have a 35% increased risk of suffering from a stroke and 17% increased risk of death by heart disease when compared to keeping a lighter 35 to 40-hour week, according to a study (via NPR). The ability to recover from any sort of stress on the body apparently decreases as you age. Research reveals that an 80-year-old person can take 3 times longer to bounce back from any sort of stress when compared to a 40-year-old, according to a study performed by a Singapore-based biotech company called Gero (via CNET).

The most effective ways to address stress is by performing consistent exercise, in addition to sleeping well, eating a nutritious mostly plant-based diet, being social, and meditating, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Dr. Shalu Ramchandani, an integrative medicine specialist at the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains, "If you're practicing all these healthy habits, it helps you become more resilient and better able to adapt to life's challenging situations."

Bottom line? It's crucial for your overall well-being to get up, get going, and feed your body and your mind with exercise. A plogging routine will have you totally covered on both counts!

Related: The #1 Strength Workout To Regain Muscle Mass as You Age, Trainer Says

Your heart will get a great workout.

mature couple jogging

Your body benefits from every bit of exercise you can work into your schedule. Along with being a great mood lifter and strength builder, a solid cardio workout is proven to prevent heart disease and other chronic illnesses, Harvard Health Publishing reports. That being said, research proves that aerobic activity can help you live even longer. So what are you waiting for? Put on your sneakers, grab a garbage bag, and get on your way, because your heart will surely thank you.

Related: The Top 5 Walking Habits That Slow Aging, Fitness Expert Reveals

Volunteering your time to clean up your community is an unselfish, feel-good thing to do.

mature women plogging, demonstrating the plogging habits that slow aging

Your heart will beat with pride as a result of your plogging efforts, and a happy heart is a healthy one. Performing service to your community in a special way is plain old nourishing. Studies have proven that the more selfless deeds you perform, the more happiness you experience—and it will help you live longer.

Research performed at Carnegie Mellon University reveals that individuals 51 years of age and over who consistently volunteered their time were at lower risk of developing high blood pressure than adults who did not. High blood pressure is a major cause of stroke, heart disease, and early mortality. Individuals who volunteered a minimum of 200 hours each year lowered their high blood pressure by as much as 40%. The research indicates that performing this kind of volunteer work could be an effective method to help you avoid hypertension.

Volunteering your time cleaning up your community while exercising is an unselfish, feel-good thing to do. You'll be accomplishing a wealth of positive things while doing it.

When your environment is clean, you're living and breathing in a healthier space.

woman doing breathing exercises before workout

Your surroundings are integral to your mood and overall health. Not only is the air you breathe and the food you eat negatively compromised by pollutants, but a community that has litter scattered about can also encourage other residents and people traveling to that particular place to be litterers, too.

Aside from being a pretty unattractive sight, think about where that loose trash ends up. One spot is in storm drains, which feed into lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans, exposing fish (your seafood) and more to bacteria. Soil can also become contaminated by the harmful chemicals that come from litter. And in order to easily do away with litter, it's typically burned, which can let out a substantial amount of toxic gases and particulate matter into the earth's atmosphere, according to WorldAtlas. This can result in respiratory issues and health ailments.

Doing your bit to keep your environment clean not only inspires others to keep it that way, but also helps generate a world that is clean to live, eat, and breathe in. This is a huge golden reason why plogging makes so much sense. Think of inspiring a huge number of ploggers to get an abundance of exercise while cleaning up the earth. The activity may motivate people to be mindful of not littering in the first place!

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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