My new book Urawaza is a collection of over 100 tips and tricks from Japan for honing your survival skills, fine-tuning your appreciation of Japanese culture, and eventually making you superhuman. The book is full of quirky Japanese solutions to common problems, along with scientific explanations of why they work. Imagine, for example, that you need to outrun a flock of zombies, like Will Smith in I Am Legend. With the help of a little old-school Japanese wisdom, you can actually run faster. Find out how!
Dilemma: You're the only human left on the planet, and you have to figure out how to outrun a flock of zombies at dusk. The zombies in your neighborhood are just slightly faster than humans on foot—you need a quick and effective method of increasing speed.
Solution: Put a rubber band around your ankle. Then stretch one end of it toward your toes and hook it over the big toe, twisting it once to make a figure eight. Repeat on your other foot.
Why this works: The rubber bands help your feet expand and contract even further than they normally do in the forefoot. This provides greater power during the push-off phase of the gait cycle, enabling you to run a little faster.