Slow Jogging in Olsztyn

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Hello everyone!

We are a team from Poland – Slow Jogging in Olsztyn.

My name is Justyna Witkowska – I’m the founder of our team, a certified Slow Jogging Instructor and a local Slow Jogging leader in my area.

In Slow Jogging in Olsztyn we are all good friends. We practice Slow Jogging 3 times a week and not only work on our technique but just spend good time together. Everybody is important so a new-comer doesn’t feel he or she came for the first time. Everyone can feel our friendly atmosphere and kindness. There is more than 30 of us!

Our area is really beautiful. We are located near forests and lakes so we jog close to nature. 

Our team participated in the last year’s Slow Jogging International Day in great numbers. We feel great being part of this community!

We also completed our first half-marathon. We worked as a team, encouraged each other and did it!

In November last year we celebrated our first anniversary. We are all proud to be members of Slow Jogging in Olsztyn team. Our wish is to jog until the end the world and one day longer!

Our team is happy to participate in various races for charity and raised money for a paralyzed boy, Lukasz.

We also participated in a race of Santas raising money for a psychiatric ward at a local hospital. Actually our team won a prize for the biggest team – we were 45 Slow Jogging Santas!

Since January 2022 we started our own charity trainings once a week and we have helped a family who lost their house in a fire and a paralyzed runner to get rehabilitation. Since March we have been helping Ukrainians who came to Poland. And we are not going to stop here!

We would like to say hello to the whole international Slow Jogging community from our beautiful and magical city of Olsztyn. We encourage you to create your teams* in your countries and cities. Slow Jogging is a great way to do something good for yourself and for others.  Niko niko power forever!

You can visit and like us here:

https://www.facebook.com/slowjoggingwolsztynie 🙂

*If you are interesting in promoting Slow Jogging in your area take a look here https://slowjogginginternational.com/2021/06/08/slow-jogging-ambassadors-program/ and let us know!

“Easy to watch and understand, a great fitness tool that I will now use” + new lectures coming soon!

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It’s been almost a year since we started our Slow Jogging lectures online and so far we had 278 students from 45 countries! It exceeded our expectations and makes us really happy. Thank you!

https://www.udemy.com/course/slowjogging/?referralCode=02D0C1639C17DAE408C9

We are really grateful to be able to share our Slow Jogging passion with so many of you around the world. Your comments and encouragement inspired us to plan a new course, in particular for those who want to run a marathon. The new course is coming soon and in the meantime we’d love to hear from you. Is there something in particular you would like to learn about?

We’ve received so many great comments – take a look at what our students said about the course and Slow Jogging:

“This approach provides me the ability to jog for years.”

“I have Prof Tanaka’s book, this course is good to reinforce the practice.”

“Great introduction to slow jogging. I have been slow jogging since the Covid pandemic started and it has helped maintain and improve my physical and mental health during this difficult time. Good instructions and easy to follow videos.”

“This was great background and a useful visual tutorial.”

Thank you!!!

How to choose your Slow Jogging shoes?

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Humans evolved to run without the assistance of footwear and barefoot running most likely represents our most natural running form.

Unfortunately, most of the modern running shoes, especially those designed for beginners, have a thick sole invented to minimize shocks resulting from landing on the heels. That makes our feet move in a way very different from the running style we evolved to.

Such a construction teaches us to land on the heel and inhibits the instinctive movement.

Slow Jogging in many ways means going back to the running basics and that applies to footwear as well. Simple shoes with thin, elastic soles and a wide toe box, fitting well on the heel, are strongly recommended. The right shoe, often called minimalist or barefoot, actually plays a crucial role in learning the natural technique.


Several years ago Professor Tanaka joined forces with a traditional Japanese shoe maker, Asahi Corporation, to design perfect shoes for Slow Jogging.
He was inspired by Japanese jika-tabi (地下足袋), traditional footwear with a divided toe and rubber soles. Jika-tabi are still commonly used in Japan by construction workers, farmers, gardeners, rickshaw-pullers and other labourers, due to the tough material and heavy-duty but flexible rubber soles they are made from.

Here is the modern version of jika-tabi for runners and joggers they created:

The model designed by Prof. Tanaka has sold out and is not available anymore, but there are many barefoot shoes to choose from at the market, especially in stores online and they are all generally suitable for Slow Jogging.

The model we have been using for a couple of years now and recommend is produced in Poland by Tadeevo and available here: https://tadeevo.com/.
You can order them online – make sure to use the code “slow jogging” for a small discount and worldwide free delivery.


They have all the features necessary for Slow Jogging and allow your feet the natural,
barefoot-like movements
.

(One more thing: If you are already a runner and you have always been a heel striker, forefoot might not always feel natural at first. Until it does, jog slowly to be able to focus on the way you land. A great way to learn is running barefoot or in barefoot-style shoes. Once you get used to forefoot striking, you should be able to do it in any kind of shoes.)


And here is our YouTube video:

Jogging in Cambodia: Marathon with a Happy End

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Several years ago when I have just fallen in love with the idea of Slow Jogging, one of my favorite holiday ideas was travelling to a place I have never been to before and running a marathon there. Slow Jogging was a perfect tool to do that – running faster would most likely make it impossible to enjoy any of the surroundings. The fact that it was the pre-covid era and also the pre-kids time in my life meant that I did have some pretty amazing running adventures, including getting lost during a marathon in Cambodia.

(This post is more of a story than Slow Jogging advice – hope you enjoy it anyway!)

It was 2014 and the 1st Angkor Empire Marathon in history.

The climate in Cambodia doesn’t really favor runners. Actually during my stay there, besides the marathon itself, I haven’t met a single one. A couple of days before the marathon I decided to leave the area of Siem Reap where I stayed and cycle to the countryside for a small slow jog into the unknown.

One hour into cycling on a rented, rusty bike and I found myself, a Polish Lara Croft, among the monsoon forests and moss-covered ruins.

Half-naked, smiling Khmer kids seemed very excited to see me and happily joined me for a bit of my jog.  

But the key event – the marathon – was still ahead of me. Used to marathons in Japan where 10.000 participants is quite ordinary, I wanted to arrive at the start line at least 1 hour before the race. Which meant 4am – for obvious reasons the climate forced the organizers to start before dawn.

I had no idea how many runners would be there – it was the first Angkor Wat Marathon in history, so there was no available data and the official website didn’t offer a lot of information either.

The day before the race I double-checked with my tuk-tuk driver to make sure he would come and pick me up on time. It was difficult to believe he’d really be up at 3am for a 10 dollar ride. And to be honest – the experience I had since I arrived in Cambodia made me rather distrustful.
To my great surprise he arrived on time (just 10 minutes late to be precise) – not on a tuk-tuk this time but on a motorbike that must have been older than myself. In complete darkness we drove through the sleepy, dusty paths of Siem Reap. Between the never-ending bumps and his speed my heart was racing already at a pace much faster than niko-niko.

10 minutes into our ride and the wind blew my running cap away. 5 minutes later I finally managed to outshout the bike and inform the driver about the accident. Without any questions and still at the same speed he did a U-turn and somehow managed to find my cap in the complete darkness.

Another U-turn and there we were again speeding towards the marathon site.

A couple of minutes later drenched in sweat we arrived at the finish line. Or rather the start.

There was nothing much happening there yet. An enthusiastic DJ, definitely not of Khmer origin was busy trying out the microphone in a way that resembled disco parties rather than a sport event. Few runners were lazily warming up and visiting the toilets. There was a bit over 2000 of us, including the elites in the front.

The starting gun fired. We ran through the silent Angkor Wat our feet pounding rhythmically on the sandy paths. We were passing by the ancient temples, still covered in darkness. I regretted not having a head-light. It was way past the Angkor area when the dawn broke. The day started with its typical crowd of bikes and countless tuk-tuks, people and animals. The marathon course was now passing through the middle of a Khmer village in the midst of its morning chaos.

The sun was now shining mercilessly right into my eyes. Covered in dust and blinded by the sun, I jogged on not really feeling that I was a part of an organized race at all. I actually didn’t see any other runners and was mostly surrounded by the locals, a bit self-conscious with my bib and running shorts.  

In Cambodia, just as in most of the marathons I ran, I was mostly for the fun and experience so I didn’t really pay attention to the time and the distance covered. However, out there in the middle of a Khmer village I started feeling a bit anxious seeing no other runners in sight and no marathon signs whatsoever. I got a crumbled map out of my pocked and discovered that the part of the course passing through the villages was quite short and the course soon returned back to the ruins.

So the tuk-tuks, the morning market with its local products and smells were not really the attractions originally planned for the marathon runners. I navigated through the same villages and markets back to the last marathon sign I saw. The organizers must have assumed we would have more common sense and actually read the map before the race. There was even a uniformed guy holding an arrow sign, hardly visible napping under the shade of a parasol. I felt like taking a nap myself but it was only the 25km point (more like 30km for me though).

My motivation to keep running was close to none, but with the 6h hours limit I still had plenty of time to leisurely stroll all the way to the finish line. I soon found myself back among Angkor Wat ruins where now, in broad daylight I was surrounded by runners and visitors of all nationalities making a striking contrast with the villagers I just met a few kilometers back.

Even slow jogging in Cambodian weather was more than my body was willing to do so I completed the race walking, yet another tourist in the sweaty crowd. What kept me going at the end was mostly the view of stalls with logos of the local breweries at the finish line, visible from afar. To my greatest disappointment they turned out to be serving water. To my small consolation I was also given a medal and a coconutty rice cake.

Fortunately the time for well-deserved beer and celebration was about to come. A friend of mine temporarily living in Siem Reap agreed to join me at a legendary restaurant specializing in Happy Pizza.

And how exactly was the HAPPY feeling related to the green leaves spread generously on the pizza dough? I will leave it to your imagination. Maybe it was just the runners high.

And even though the pizza itself could make a great carbo-loading dinner, I would rather do not recommend this experiment on the evening before the race 🙂

Jogging on a treadmill? Yes or no? And what are other options?

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The treadmill doesn’t simulate your natural stride perfectly, but it’s close enough to provide an efficient training alternative.

If you are new to Slow Jogging and have trouble keeping a slow, steady pace, treadmills can actually be quite useful! Unless you can’t stand the idea of indoor running hamster-style, treadmills give you an opportunity to play with the pace and incline in a way that would be difficult when jogging outside.

Professor Tanaka usually recommended trying treadmill running with a small incline. It gives you a chance to practice more challenging settings as well as providing a great a lower-body workout.

Actually a small incline makes treadmill running more similar to outdoor running simulating additional effort accounting for the amount of wind resistance you would experience while running outdoors.

And how fast you should jog? Just as with outdoor running we recommend your individual niko niko pace! If you are beginner, you can start as slow as 3km/h or 2mph and see how it feels.

Basically, the choice is between running outside and on a treadmill up to you. Choose one or the other or do both, depending on your training plan on a given day, the weather, etc.

And what if the weather is bad and you don’t feel like jogging outside but you don’t have a treadmill or gym membership?

For those willing to experiment, we have another idea: try jogging across the room without stepping on a treadmill! Crazy as it may sound, it’s doable and even has some advantages over regular jogging.
Yoichi Hatamoto, PhD, of our fitness institute proved that turns, necessary for running back and forth, significantly increase energy expenditure and help shape up your body. Decreasing speed before a turn, turning the body and regaining the original speed mean that a shuttle jog at two-and-a-half miles per hour over a distance of ten feet and with twenty turns per minute is physiologically equivalent to running at three-to-four miles per hour in a straight line or on the treadmill.

“Slow Jogging & Turn” is great for lock-downs too 😉

The secret exercise Professor Tanaka used to do on airports and airplanes!

Other great option is Step Exercise:

You can use anything as your step: a seat, bench or even a box filled with old magazines. The exercise couldn’t be simpler. Start with your right leg and climb the step, follow with your left leg, and get down with your right leg first and then left. Make sure to straighten your knees when on the top of the step.


PS: We want to use this blog to answer your questions about Slow Jogging! Feel free to comment and let us what you’d like to know.

How many people are actually Slow Jogging around the world?

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Ever wondered how many people are actually Slow Jogging around the world?
As the year draws to an end we would like to COUNT ALL OF YOU IN OUR INTERNATIONAL SLOW JOGGING COMMUNITY around the world!

What we know for now is that there are:

More than 28000 of you with us on YouTube Slow Jogging – YouTube

More than 22000 of you with us on Facebook Slow Jogging | Facebook

More than 220 of you with us on Udemy https://www.udemy.com/course/slowjogging/?referralCode=02D0C1639C17DAE408C9

But we’re sure there is much more of you! Let us know you’re there:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctEVuaPASzpe-r0r1ps1K5z3jVMvbEicVgUa15o7SvO3wGDA/viewform?usp=sf_link


It will take less than a minute of your time so please send us your replies and share this questionnaire with all Slow Joggers you know. Thank you!!!

“Beth Behrs Freaks Out Her Neighbors By Slow Jogging”

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That’s what we call super exciting news!

According to a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, “Beth Behrs took up several hobbies during quarantine, including gardening and the Japanese sport of “Niko Niko Running” aka slow jogging — a sport where you’re supposed to run with a smile. Seriously.”
Check the links below – Beth actually slow jogs in the show!!!
https://theglobalherald.com/entertainment/beth-behrs-freaks-out-her-neighbors-by-slow-jogging/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDthQ670SI

Slow Jogging Ambassadors in Nebraska (USA) and Gothenburg (Sweden)

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We are proud to present another two of our Slow Jogging Ambassadors around the world:

Meet Rebecca!

“Hi, my name is Rebecca McCorkindale. I’m 44 years old and I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I have been Slow Jogging for a little under a year, but with Slow Jogging’s help, and with how good it feels, I have lost over 55 pounds (25 kg or 4 stone). So. And I’ve run…gosh, I used to run 5ks and 10ks all the time until I got ill. And then, as a result, I got fibromyalgia, and that kind of really changed my life. And I really thought that I was done with running forever, until I discovered Slow Jogging. And now I run at least 30 minutes, six days a week. It really feels good and I enjoy it! So feel free to reach out to me at SlowJoggingNE@gmail.com, and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. I can hardly wait to start sharing Slow Jogging with Nebraskans, and even beyond. Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful day!”

Meet Marie!

“My name is Marie and I live in Gothenburg, Sweden and I am Slow Jogging Ambassador here. I am also a massage therapist, movement coach and dancer. Although I used to move in a rather gentle and natural way for the body, I feel so much freer in my movement and more energized when running since I found Slow Jogging. Now Slow Jogging is one of my ways to keep lifelong health and I want to share it with others. If you are interested in experiencing the same freedom and ease that I do when it comes to running, you are welcome to contact me and I will introduce you to Slow Jogging. Welcome!”

If you are interested in our SJ Ambassadors program check this post:
https://slowjogging.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/slow-jogging-ambassadors-program/

And if you would like to know more about Slow Jogging – here is our online Slow Jogging course that you can now access at a discounted price only via the link below:

https://www.udemy.com/course/slowjogging/?couponCode=217B5BF5857C6E76892A

Effects of a 12-week Slow Jogging program on the decrease in metabolic syndrome risk factors in a 55 years old male – case study

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We have big and exciting news today! The first (that we know of 😊) Master Thesis researching the field of Slow Jogging outside of Japan has just been published in Poland. Huge congratulations to Dominika!

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Here is Dominika (in the middle) back in 2016 when she completed her education for a certified Slow Jogging instructor with Prof. Hiroaki Tanaka (on the left) and Magdalena Jackowska (on the right).

Dominika’s thesis was published at Medical University of Warsaw and is only available in Polish, but here is a short abstract for those of you who are curious about the results:

Effects of a 12-week Slow-Jogging program on the decrease in metabolic syndrome risks in a 55 years old male – case study

Methods: The subject in this study was a 55 year old male at risk of metabolic syndrome. During a period of 3 months he practiced Slow Jogging 3 times a week, 60 minutes at a time. No other changes were made to his daily lifestyle and his eating habits remained the same as prior to the experiment. His blood pressure, heartrate, distance covered, energy expenditure and steps count were recorded daily. Additionally blood morphology, body weight and waist circumference measurements were performed 4 times: prior to the experiment, after each month and after at the end of the experiment.  

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The subject of the study during his daily Slow Jogging routine

Results: Average evening blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure throughout the day significantly improved. Total cholesterol, glucose and triglyceride values significantly decreased. HDL remained at a relatively same value – and what’s important – it didn’t decrease. Progressive weight loss of 1kg body weight per month was observed. There was no difference noted in the waist circumference.

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The subject of the study with Professor Tanaka

Conclusions: Slow Jogging proved to have positive influence on most metabolic syndrome risk factors resulting in decreased risk of the disease. Slow Jogging training can be recommended in both prevention and therapy of the metabolic syndrome. It’s also a versatile and accessible form of exercise for everyone with multiple health benefits.   

Dominika, thanks for sharing your study with us!

If you are new to Slow Jogging, here a short reminder on how to start your Slow Jogging adventure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L2b2khySLE

And if you would like to know more – here is our online Slow Jogging course that you can now access at a discounted price only via the link below:

https://www.udemy.com/course/slowjogging/?couponCode=217B5BF5857C6E76892A

Slow Jogging Ambassadors in Colorado and Georgia (USA)

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Dear SJ Friends,

We are pleased to announce that our SJ Ambassadors program has already started! Our Ambassadors around the world received all the necessary education to teach SJ further – for you it’s a great opportunity to get practical help and work on your SJ skills with a real person! Today we are introducing 2 Ambassadors from USA: Wayne from Colorado and Kelley from Georgia. Do you live nearby? Or know somebody who does? Watch the introductory videos below and get in touch!