10/01/2013

NIGERIA AT 53: FITNESS TRENDS SO FAR!

Happy Independence Day Nigeria!!!

October 1 is usually welcomed with mixed feelings. For some Nigerians they spend the day discussing about all the trials and tribulations of the country, while some are happy because they get time off work/school, and for some others it is time to attend Independence Day Parry! (i.e.Party). On my way out today, I saw some people with their green and white themed outfits, probably going to attend some Independence Day event. 


Today, I would like to briefly discuss how exercise has developed in Nigeria. Anyone who comes around the Lekki phase 1 vicinity in the early hours of the morning would no doubt agree with me that Nigerians have taken more recognition of exercise. You'll find couples taking a walk or jog together, Grandmas taking a stroll, young "sisi ekos" (i.e. fine Ladies) all geared up in their sexy gym wears doing their thing. This has not always been the case. My Aunt was telling me how people used to think she was mad when she came out in the mornings to run. This was a long time ago though, but the point is to illustrate how the mindset of the average Nigerian has changed. 

What are the fitness trends you'll find in the country: 
  • Gym memberships have increased over the years. more and more Nigerians are becoming regular members of gyms. 
  • More Corporate bodies are also acquiring corporate membership for their staff, or introducing some form of wellness program to their entities. I was a part of the Schlumberger Nigeria Wellness Program in May, 2013.
  • You'll find individuals forming sporting groups. An obvious group is the cyclist group. I have spotted them in both Lagos and Port-Harcourt. 
  • The number of walkers and runners have increased. If you go on the new Lekki/Ikoyi bridge on Saturday mornings, you would think the Government was banning Walking and Running the next day. 
  • Studio classes are becoming popular. Instructors are becoming creative with classes.
  • A week does not pass without an advertisement of fitness programs: boot camps, dance aerobics, Zumba, e.t.c. 
  • Diet Programs are also more popular than ever. My advise is that one should be careful with quick fixes. Besides the fact that they usually have negative results in the long-term, many advertisers are not necessarily after your well being.
It is good news that Nigerians are becoming more fitness conscious as the importance of exercising has been stated over and over again,  so, it is good to see people making an effort to change their lifestyles. As people become more fitness conscious, I would hope that they also become more knowledgeable about what they are doing. Many Nigerians do not understand the concept of fitness, so you'll find people who have been exercising for over 10 years and yet cannot properly do a standing oblique crunch or a basic sit up. Worse off is that some Fitness Trainers have no knowledge themselves so it is a case of the blind leading the blind. Another trend you'll find is People selling wrong fitness programs to the public. For example, you'll find an advert for Zumba but when you get to the class, you discover it is a Salsa class, or something else. I have had prospective clients call me and ask "hope it is real Zumba you offer". There is nothing wrong with a Salsa class, but don't deceive people by advertising something else. Be true to your advert. The thing is most people tend to get away with this because the clients attending the classes have no idea what the real thing is.

Trends come and go, so rather than follow a trend, understand what it is you are doing, why you are doing it? and how you can do it?

Have a Great Day!

xxx
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