Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Professor Hiroaki Tanaka, Ph.D. of Fukuoka University, Japan
Slow Jogging is a pain-free, injury-free technique that is beneficial for all ages and lifestyles. This technique was perfected and made popular by running guru Professor Hiroaki Tanaka of Fukuoka University, Japan. Here's a video of Prof. Tanaka teaching his colleague the technique of slow jogging.
Bio - Professor Tanaka
Slow Jogging became popular in Japan by Prof. Tanaka. He spent years perfecting and researching the technique. In Japan, Slow Jogging clubs and organizations have sprouted out in many cities. It has become very popular with senior citizens. Prof. Tanaka was able to reverse his type 2 diabetes by doing Slow Jogging regularly. That's really incredible! He's written several books on the subject and they are available on Amazo
Slow Jogging is recommended for folks like me. Folks who had suffered injuries and as a result had to have knee surgery. For ordinary activities like taking the stairs or exercises like running, jogging and aerobics had become impossible. (I have no cushioning on my right knee as the damaged cartilage was removed. I had now what is termed a "runner's knee" - I've mentioned about my injury and recovery in my post Healthy LifeStyle). Slow Jogging is for folks seeking a lesser, pain-free, non-impact fitness activity.
Slow Jogging has been around for some time now. Its been gaining momentum among seasoned joggers and runners. It's advocated for folks who are getting back to fitness after convalescing or recovery. I highly recommend Slow Jogging to anyone who's looking to switch to a low. non-impact and pain-free activity. (Bearing in mind no two people's injuries and pain are alike. I would recommend seeking a physician's advice before beginning this activity).
Slow Jogging has given me a new lease in life! I felt euphoric the 1st time I completed a 45 min jog. It was more than a fitness exercise for me, it lifted my spirit and I looked forward to the next day. It took me 2 months to get to this stage. Now I jog 5 times a week for a minimum of 45 to 50 mins, sometimes twice a day if I'm able to. I'm no longer achy in the mornings or evenings. I do have some pain and inflammation. But it's considerably lesser and manageable with Intermittent Fasting and herbs like organic Turmeric, Moringa, Cummin, and Ginger in my diet.
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Benefits of Slow Jogging
We can achieve overall conditioning
It improves Blood Pressure
Known to reverse Type 2 diabetes
Able to sleep better, move better
No workout pain or soreness
An overall sense of well being
Fresh air and a daily dose of Vitamin D
We can continue well into our 90s.
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Slow Jogging Footwear
Slow Jogging has been picking up momentum in the United States in the past few years. Done correctly it's an all-over body conditioning fitness minus the aches and pains. No fancy equipment, just a good pair of jogging barefoot-like shoes. Conventional running shoes are made for the heel to midfoot impact. Thus we won't be able to land softly for the forefoot strike.
We need shoes specifically made for slow jogging forefoot strike to cushion and protect from impact. I toggle between Sketchers Women's GoWalk, Nike, and Merrill woman's barefoot running shoes. I love my Sketchers though, it's amazingly comfortable and great for long walks. (sketchers.com - nike.com - merrell.com)
The application of Slow Jogging is called the Forefoot Strike. You land softly on the forefoot thus the name Forefoot Strike. (Not your toes, just below it on the balls)
For beginners and for those who are hurting - here's an idea on the number of steps you aim for per minute, it's around 60. (It's not a rule, you can go slower if you want to)
Before you step forward, check your posture.
Relax, loosen up! SMILE!
Knees should be loose and bent ever so slightly - not locked.
Shoulders back, elbows slightly bent and moving criss-cross keeping instep at a regular slow pace.
Focus on landing softly, focus on your stance, how your body is moving, breathe deeply and easily.
Your feet should be moving closer to the ground, almost gliding.
It's your first time, so keep checking and correcting your posture and your landing. You'll get the hang of it quickly.
With each step look ahead while focusing on landing softly. Easy breathing. If you are panting or out of breath, go slower.
RELAX your whole body, release the tension. SMILE. Take it in, enjoy it.
It's recommended to do 20 mins for beginners. Jog every other day for the 1st two weeks. Let your body get used to the new activity.
After 2 weeks, aim to jog at least 5 times a week and try to jog longer - 30 mins now.
Comfortable with 30 mins pick it up a notch! Always breathing easily.
You should be able to SMILE while doing Slow Jogging. Listen to your body. If you are Grimacing you are not doing it correctly & do stop if it hurts. Rest, pick it up another day.
Moving with the Mind Meditation - Slow Jogging
This is the easy part. If you are new to meditation, it would take a while but you'll get the hang of it in no time. Everyone does eventually. Meditation is blocking out all the other thoughts. Any worries you have put it out of your mind for the duration of the time, just focus on one thing.
We are always thinking, always multitasking. There's always something else going on in the back of our minds. Work, kids, family, household, and so on. Meditation frees us for a period, a pocket in our infinity.
I prefer to go slow jogging by myself. It's my time to zen out. It's a great way to start the day. Don't you think so? Only when I jog in the evenings, my friends or family will join in. This isn't a hardcore meditation.
It's something that works for me and I've taught it to my friends and colleagues. When I used to run before I got hurt, I would focus on my breathing instead of distance. It helped me complete my run without stressing out.
Here's how I do it:
As I begin my Slow Jogging, I am relaxed and focused on my breathing, only my breathing.
Breathe in deeply, exhale out slowly.
Breathe instep - meaning it takes me 4 to 5 steps to inhale deeply and exhale slowly in the next 4 to 5 steps. (It might take you longer or shorter but you get what I mean)
You forget about the world now. It's just you and your path.
Just breathe - inhale & exhale. Everything else falls away.
You'll get the hang of it, I did you can too!!
Use your Fitbit if you have one.
If you have an opportunity to run barefoot on the beach do it. It feels amazing and I guarantee you will love it.
I hope you come to love Slow Jogging as much as I do and it becomes a part of your life.