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> Slow jogging – how to start and what are the benefits? 

Slow jogging – how to start and what are the benefits? 

Publish date 20.02.2023

You can read it in 9 minut

Slow jogging – how to start and what are the benefits? 

Do you further reinforce your belief that running is not for you? You may be right, but if you say so only because you don’t want to get tired, don’t have time, or simply don’t want to, then you won’t get away from slow jogging 😉 

As you can probably guess from the name, it is slow.. veeery slow jogging. It is an ideal physical activity option for both the beginner athlete and the experienced one. Moreover, it is suitable for people of all ages. 

“But I don’t have the fitness.”

It’s not a problem. For slow jogging, you do not need to have any fitness at the start. What is slow jogging, how to start and what are its benefits? That’s what you’ll find out in this article. Keep reading! 

Hiroaki Tanaka – the creator of slow jogging 

Hiroaki Tanaka (jap. 田中 洋明) was the creator of the slow jogging technique. It can be said that he developed this method for his whole life. However, let’s start from the beginning. 

His journey with running started in 1964. It was the year when Japan organized the Olympics, so a lot of people started to be more interested in many disciplines. Tanaka chose running. He was very motivated and focused on his goal – he wanted to take part in the biggest national competition, the Hakone Ekiden

However, life thwarted his plans. When he was 19, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. This spelled the end of his professional running and relay career. 

Because he was unable to continue and pursue his dream, he replaced running with light physical exercise and science. He chose a career in science – he studied exercise physiology. 

When he was 25 years old, he underwent further tests and, as it turned out, did not have a congenital heart defect at all. As it turned out, all his symptoms were a consequence of poor diet and intense exercise. However, despite the new diagnosis, Hiroaki Tanaka continued to focus on research, which later led to slow jogging. Running did not accompany him in his life until he was 37. That’s when he started running very, very slowly and then…competing in marathons. 

He ran the Montreal Marathon in 4 hours and 11 minutes! It didn’t stop there. He continued to compete in marathons and completed them with better and better times. His slow jogging technique began to become more and more popular, and now runners around the world are familiar with it. 

Thanks to his perseverance, improved running technique, and knowledge, Hiroaki Tanaka ran the marathon in 2:38:50 at the age of 50. This is a very good result indeed!

What’s the conclusion? Even if life is giving you a hard time and taking away something you love to do, don’t give up. Who knows, you may find the perfect alternative that will give you a chance to come back and continue doing what you love. Just like Hiroaki Tanaka.

Learn more about slow jogging straight from Hiroaki Tanaka!

Just from the short biography of Hiroaki Tanaka, you are already interested in this type of physical activity. Want to learn more, from the master himself? You can do it. Hiroaki Tanaka has published the book Slow Jogging: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Have Fun with Science-Based, Natural Running. Omg, what a long title. 

The book was written in collaboration with Magdalena Jackowska. From the guide, you will learn many useful things about how to do slow jogging well and how this physical activity affects your body and mind.

What is slow jogging? 

Professor Hiroaki Tanaka called slow jogging a niko-niko (jap. に こ に こ) pace. Niko-niko in Japanese means “smile/smiley.” Therefore, this jogging pace is often referred to simply as running with a smile. 

This method involves slow jogging (very, very slow) so that you don’t feel tired during this “physical exertion.” A person who uses this pace in his training can run about 4-5 km in an hour. 

You’re probably wondering why run at such a pace at all. It’s already better to go out for a normal walk, even then you will be faster than a runner who uses this technique. It may surprise you, but slow jogging has a greater effect on the human body than walking. 

You don’t believe me? Keep reading, and you’ll soon see for yourself the benefits of slow jogging!

Slow jogging for older people
Even older people can try slow jogging. It’s fun!

The most important slow jogging benefits 

What’s the best thing about slow jogging? The fact that it has all the advantages of running, but minimizes its disadvantages. That’s why older people or those with health problems can continue to be physically active.

  • Lack of fatigue – you won’t catch breathlessness or colic at this pace
  • Maintain proper running technique – by running with good technique you will avoid the injury that often runners gets
  • Prepare for more – when you are completely out of shape, slow jogging will prepare you for more intense training
  • Prevents diseases – obesity, diabetes, hypertension, improve mood, eliminates stress
  • Does not strain the body – does not expose bones, muscles, and joints to injury and soreness 
  • Burns calories – slow jogging will allow you to burn more calories than walking – you will burn 2 times more calories.

More benefits of slow jogging  

  • oxygenation of the brain – the mind will work better
  • it’s a good base for the training when you are not experienced
  • morning training will give you energy for the whole day, awaken your body 
  • you will learn to run with good technique – landing on the midfoot 
  • give yourself a break – you will slow down the pace of your life at least for a while 
  • allows you to increase the number of brain cells, which can protect against Alzheimer’s – the perfect sport for seniors! 
  • improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces the risk of heart attacks 
  • bone and joint strengthener
  • ​​during slow jogging endorphins – happiness hormones -are secreted – a better mood is guaranteed!

How to start slow jogging? 

Before you start slow jogging, you need to meet a few assumptions to make your physical activity effective and safe. Of course, such a running technique is not difficult. Therefore, you will quickly catch on to what it is all about. Read the rules below and start slow jogging even today! It’s easy!

Run slow 

I don’t think there is anything more obvious than this statement. After all, it is SLOW JOGGING. However, some people may forget this and impose a faster pace on themselves, and it’s not about time or distance, just having an active and pleasant time, without injury. 

The pace of running must be such that you can talk freely with the person next to you. You feel that you don’t get tired talking, and you don’t lose air. 

What is the right jogging pace and how to get it?

  • The pace of slow jogging should be 4-5 km/h.
  • Take about 180 steps per minute 
  • The length of your stride? – ⅓ of the steps you take when walking normally. 

It may seem to you at certain times that you are standing still. Don’t worry, you are moving forward slowly. This is a very slow pace, so be sure to avoid the moment when both feet are on the ground. Also, avoid scuffing your feet on the surface. This is supposed to be running, but very slow.

Slow jogging - slow pace
Jogging is not a sprint. Run very slow.

Proper posture is the key

For your slow jogging to be effective, you need to remember to have a good posture while training. What should it be like? What should you keep in mind?

  • the silhouette should be straight, 
  • place your foot so that you land on your midfoot, 
  • arms bent at 90 degrees, along the tors,
  • palms open,
  • relax your shoulders.

Remember to land on the midfoot

You know about the technique of proper running you have surely heard. If you haven’t, you must remember to run from the midfoot, not from the heel. By running from the heel you can have calf pain, knee pain, and even get injured. 

If you don’t know exactly where on your foot is the point you should land on, then jump in place, and run backward. In both cases, you should naturally land on the midfoot. So, take a step in such a way that you land exactly at that spot.

Slow jogging – what shoes to choose 

Slow jogging shoes should allow you to feel whether you are landing on your midfoot, and thus whether your running technique is good. 

Moreover, you should choose routes with soft and natural ground. Then your workout will be perfect.

Comfortable sports clothing 

Comfort is the key. Therefore, choose clothes that will not rub you down and you will feel comfortable in them. It’s best to choose a T-shirt made of technical material, which will wick sweat away and you won’t feel an unpleasant wet sensation on your skin. Shorts can be tight or loose – depending on what you feel better in. 

Remember to dress appropriately for the weather and the season.

Take deep breaths 

During your workout, you need to remember to breathe properly, which will make slow jogging enjoyable and you won’t suddenly catch breathlessness, which shouldn’t be there. Your breathing is supposed to be controlled by your body. You can:

  • take an inhale for two steps and an exhale for two steps,
  • breathe diaphragmatically – inhale with your nose, exhale with your mouth. 

Deep breathing during physical activity is important. Keep it in mind and try to regulate your breathing during your workout.

Run at your own slooow pace

During your training, you are bound to see a lot of runners and even passersby who start to overtake you. Don’t worry about it. Run at your own slow pace. After all, this is slow jogging, not a 5km race for a gold medal. Focus on yourself.

Don’t forget to train 

“Today I don’t have the strength to train. I’ll let it go and do it tomorrow.”

And then again postpone it to another day and another…and another. If you want to do slow jogging then you need to remember about regularity. Run for 30-60 minutes every day. 

“I don’t have time to train that much.”

What if I tell you that you have? You can do slow jogging anywhere! Do a short workout in the office when you go to the bathroom or kitchen. Do a slow jog on your way to the bus stop and to your apartment. You can also divide your workout into several parts. The total amount must be about 30-60 minutes.

Slow jogging and regular training
Make a training plan for the whole week!

Choose the right music 

Some people can’t imagine physical activity without music. For slow jogging, choose slow, relaxing songs. You may even be tempted to listen to an audiobook or podcast.

Avoid fast, energetic music, as you won’t be able to maintain a proper pace and will want to run faster. During slow jogging choose music that will lift your mood, and avoid sad music. 

Slow jogging benefits for new and experienced runners 

New runners will: 

  • learn to run from the midfoot, 
  • increase your performance,
  • increase your endurance, 
  • strengthen your legs. 

Experienced runners will: 

  • slow down the pace, 
  • stop counting the distance and look at the time in which they covered it, 
  • help to get back into shape after an injury, 
  • allow enjoying running

That’s all I have to share with you about slow jogging. I hope you now know what it is, how to start, and what are the benefits of slow jogging. If you want to do this physical activity, remember first of all the regularity and length of training. Moreover, don’t speed up, run at the right pace. Take care of your health and start with Hiroaki Tanaka techniques. Stay positive and good luck! 

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