Joggers and runners can be insufferably smug, as they run around town in lycra that’s so tight its cutting the blood flow to their feet, believing they’re superior beings as they exercise pretentiously in full public view. For some the stench of “ self-righteousness” off  Tweets at 7.30am  – “ great run this morning, felt like I was floating. Off for my celery and grapefruit smoothie now” – is sickening. As a runner it’s hard for me to believe that apparently some find runners to be sanctimonious, full of pontification and bullshit. Well a “plogger” is a runner, that is even more smug and virtuous. Move over hygge, the new Scandinavian craze from Sweden is “plogging” and it may just save the planet. This word is the English language equivalent of Plogga, a hybrid of the Swedish verbs plocka (to pick up) and jogga (to jog). So “plogging” is running with the additional challenge of picking up rubbish on the way. The brainchild of environmentalist Erik Ahlstrom in 2016, after moving to Stockholm from a small ski-community in northern Sweden, he  was irritated with the amount of litter he saw while making his way to work. So he began picking it up. Then he started to incorporate it to his runs and people started to join him, and now its spreading around the world.  Thanks in large part to social media the  eco-conscious exercise craze has grown organically reaching over 40 countries, massively exceeding the expectations of the founder. ploggingPicking up beer cans, bits of foam containers, plastic bottles is not only good for the environment, according to Ahlström, thirty minutes of plogging burns 288 calories, compared to 235 calories burned during regular jogging. So I decided to go plogging on one of my normal daily routes. I took a plastic shop bag and planned to go for an hour or so, I had to turn back after two kilometres because the bag was full and starting to burst! I had never noticed how dirty my regular route was. In a time when charity races and marathons are common place it may be another way to combine our charitable efforts with our fitness goals. Plogging may be part of a new trend toward making exercise about something other than our own vanity and competitive ambitions. Litter is blending into the background of our lives, but if we took time to look we would see and maybe replacing one jog with a plog might make a small difference.

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I qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Since graduating I have worked in St. James Hospital Dublin and have worked in all the areas of speciality within the hospital including cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, rheumatology, care of the elderly, neurology, burns and plastic surgery among others . I have also completed a post graduate certificate in acupuncture in UCD 2009. The Physiotherapy Department in SJH has strong links with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students on practice placements and also delivered lectures on the undergraduate academic programme in TCD. I have a keen interest in all sports and currently plays with Cill Dara RFC 1st team squad, and Milltown GAA. I have previously worked as Physiotherapist to Co. Carlow Senior GAA Team, Milltown GAA, Leinster Junior Rugby Team and Cill Dara RFC. I am an experienced runner and competed in the Dublin City Marathon in 2002. I continue to participate in running events and multisport disciplines such as Gaelforce West, Gaelforce North and the Motivate Challenge. I have a particular interest in strength and conditioning. I utilise this knowledge of resistance training in the treatment of his clients. I am committed to continuous learning and development in order to ensure the optimal level of care is offered to my clients, and with this in mind I am currently undertaking a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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