The Odd Side – September 6, 2016

The Benefits of Jogging Slowly

(TNS) – According Hiroaki Tanaka, a professor at the Faculty of Sports and Health Science at Fukuoka University in Japan, there may be health benefits in jogging slowly.

Tanaka has a unique suggestion: Run only as fast as your body lets you smile.

He calls this a “smiling pace,” or a “niko niko pace,” and says the best way to run is at a calm speed, which helps lower blood pressure while boosting overall fitness.

Tanaka said to find what that pace might be for you, consider starting slow and listening to your body.

“Niko niko pace can be very different for each one of us,” he said. It might even be lower than your walking speed.

“Slow down to be able to talk at ease, or if you are running alone, sing your favorite songs,” Tanaka said.

They found that even a group of 75-year-olds experienced lowered blood pressure.

“It’s never too late to start,” Tanaka said.

Ax Throwing — The ‘Modern-Day Bowling’ — Coming to Chicago

CHICAGO (TNS) – A Canadian ax-throwing chain will be opening its first Chicago location, and its first United States location as well. “Like darts …” says founder Mario Zelaya of the sport.

For $44.25 per person plus tax, each member of a group will get a one-on-one lesson on how to throw an ax from an ax-throwing coach, as well as a tutorial on how to stay safe and what the rules of the game are. After a warmup, groups will then take part in a tournament, throwing axes at a wooden target and competing against one another for bragging rights.

Zelaya says the ax-throwing franchise doesn’t serve food or alcohol at any of its locations, but the company allows patrons to bring their own food and beverages to the facility. Hard liquor is not allowed on the premises.

Zelaya says it doesn’t take long for patrons to figure out how to throw an ax and get into a routine. In his experience, women tend to pick up the hang of ax-throwing faster than men do, he says.

“It’s funny because the people that get it the most are the ones that listen closely. That tends to be females,” he says.

Ultra-Marathon Runner Reunited With Missing Stray Dog

LONDON (AP) — An ultra-marathon runner has been reunited with the stray dog that accompanied him through part of a grueling desert race in China and then went missing.

Dion Leonard says the stray befriended him as he took part in the 155-mile Gobi March race, part of the 4 Deserts race series. The dog followed him for much of the race. He vowed to take the dog, named Gobi, home to the U.K.

Leonard, who lives in Scotland, says the dog was preparing to go into quarantine in China before traveling to the U.K. when she disappeared. Having learned that she ran away, he returned to China to find Gobi with the help of a crowdfunding appeal, using posters and social media to track her down.

“On Tuesday night, I received a phone call around 9 p.m. at night saying, ‘We’ve got Gobi. We think it is her. It looks like her in the posters, come round and have a look,’ “ he told the BBC. “Thankfully we went over and as soon as I walked into the lounge she came running across the room and into my arms.”

“She was so excited to see me,” he said. “I knew it was her straight away.” Gobi joined Leonard on the second day of the seven-day race, and also ran along on her short stubby legs for days three and six.

“She ran 77 miles during those three stages … And we just formed this bond that couldn’t be broken during the race,” he said. “I knew as soon as the race had finished — and even during it — that I had to make an effort to try and get her back to the U.K. somehow.”

He now hopes the dog will join him in Scotland before the year’s end.