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    Sam: My Running Playlist

    April 4th, 2012

    A few people have asked for our running playlists. So here goes!

    Right now I’m enjoying dance, indie and alternative music when I run. Sometimes I have to stop myself from stopping in the middle of the road or on the treadmill and just breaking out into a crazy dance! I stopped listening to Afrobeats, R’n’B and Hip-Hop when I’m running because a lot of the beats weren’t fast enough for me, though for resistance training I do like my Kanye West, M.I., Tyler the Creator, Wizkid, Common, Rihanna and Beyonce.

    My playlist changes from time to time, but right now my top fifteen for running are:

    • Sbtrkt – Living Like I Do
    • The Ting Tings – Hands
    • The Wombats – Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
    • We Are Scientists – Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt
    • Alexandra Stan – Mr Saxobeat
    • Kelis – Millionaire
    • Two Door Cinema Club – Cigarettes in the Theatre
    • Rihanna – Birthday Cake
    • Maximo Park – Girls Who Play Guitar
    • Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn
    • Bombay Bicycle Club – Always Like This
    • MSTRKRFT – Heartbreaker
    • Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
    • Jennifer Lopez – On the Floor
    • Metronomy – The Look

    These songs will get you through that last 500m of your run… That’s if you don’t start jumping and dancing around wildly mid-run!

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    Adun: My Running Playlist

    March 31st, 2012

    Here’s my running playlist at the moment. I will put something up on my yoga playlist.

    My playlist – for my 10k runs and so I don’t get bored. I usually have it on shuffle so the sequences are randomized and therefore I don’t get bored!

    I always like starting with La Roux’s In for the Kill, it makes me feel like I’m ready to do something, although sometimes I start with Alors en Danse….towards the end I really need some music and Mucho Mambo Sway is exactly what I need, together with Janet’s Pleasure Principle.

    The pleasure principle – Janet Jackson
    Alors on danse – Stromae
    In for the Kill – La Roux
    Just Dance – Lady Gaga
    Oleku – IcePrince
    Ideeha – Sennen
    Party Hard -Donaeo
    I’m so special – Movado
    Oh Na Na – Rihanna
    I want to break free – Queen
    Suddenly I see – KT Tunstall
    Look at Me now – Chris Brown
    Afterlife Album Version – Avenged Sevenfold
    Enigma House of Techno – DJ Tiesto
    Mucho Mambo Sway – Shaft
    Jump in my car – David Hasselholf
    Tainted Love – Soft Cell
    Sugar Sugar – The Archies
    Rockstar -Nickelback
    It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
    You can’t touch this – MC Hammer
    Groovejet – Spiller feat. Sophie Ellis Bextor
    Pass Out – Tinie Tempah

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    Sam: Running Motivation

    March 28th, 2012

    I’ve always been an active, competitive person, so when it comes to running, the challenge wasn’t really about motivating myself to keep running. The challenge was overcoming my fear of running in the first place! A lot of people share this fear, but til this day I’m not entirely sure what the fear is about! For me, it was entirely irrational – I genuinely felt as though my heart would explode if I didn’t stop running after two minutes!

    Once I started, I was shocked at how unfit I was, and I guess this spurred me on to keep running and try harder.

    Now, my main running motivation comes from:

    • My friends and other people around me, and the fact that they run and exercise frequently.
    • New music! That’s a weird one. I hardly ever get to listen to new music so those 20-30 minute runs give me some time to listen to new albums. Also when I have a new running playlist, I’m excited to get out there and try it out!
    • Celebrities with healthy lifestyles, e.g. Angela Simmons, Tracee Ellis Ross and Halle Berry. They all workout but it’s combined with healthy eating.
    • The small changes I’ve noticed in my weight, physique and skin. Running is one of those exercises that works your whole body, so it’s encouraging when you see your weight decrease, your stomach getting tighter and your thighs with more definition.

    Lastly, the fact that I love to eat motivates me to keep on running!

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    Adun: Motivation

    March 24th, 2012

    What motivates me to be fit?  Why even bother with fitness? I think it is a very difficult question to answer. My primary motivation is my health. I see exercise as an investment in my long-term health. That is, if I am fit now, then surely it would pave the way for better health in my later years. So for me, it is some sort of forward planning to ensure that I keep this ‘machine’ that is my body in the best condition possible.

    The second motivation is purely aesthetic – I want to keep my body in the best form that it can be, and I have coined this term: to make my body a lean, fatburning machine, and it helps me! Yes, there are a lot of analogies to a machine, but that works for me.

    Think about your car or any equipment you have, you need to use it, or it stops working, and you service it regularly to make sure it keeps working for longer. The same with the body. You either use it or you lose it. That said, it is not easy to be committed to a fitness regime, at the initial stages. It is quite hard, and for me, I just kept at it until it became a habit.

    What makes me get up in the mornings or evenings to go jogging or riding though has to be the thought of seeing the pretty flowers and  hearing the birds and seeing squirrels running up and down, and possibly a friendly dog. Yes, I love those things in the outdoors and that is what motivates me.

    So, for those reading these, I would say, choose a fitness regime that closely ties in with what you enjoy doing in your spare time. If you like reading novels but never find time because of the gym, get an audio book and listen to it as you exercise, or if you like watching dvds, then do what a friend of mine did, get an exercise bike and watch dvds at home. If you feel stressed and need to destress, take up pilates, yoga or taichi. If you like walking, then just go for longer walks.  Or you can find a friend/group of friends and play tennis together (so you meet up and work out as well). Again, it is all about incorporating it into your lifestyle.  

    If you just can’t seem to find the time to go jogging or go to the gym, or you feel the area is unsafe when you get home late, then get an exercise dvd and work out at home.

    This is my current fitness regime: walking – 3hours a week, jogging – 1hr a week, riding – 1hr every fortnight, taebo – 20minutes a week. I would say I am very busy – working on thesis, part-time work, etc. The key point is, we make time for what is important to us, and when we make fitness important, then we will make time for it.

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    Adun: My Fitness Journey

    March 23rd, 2012

    I have not always been into fitness. I remember about 9 years ago telling a friend at the time that I did not need to go to gym or exercise and if I put on weight, well that was the way it was to be! I cringe whenever I remember this, but it makes sympathetic when friends tell me this as their reason for not exercising.

    I think post-secondary school, I got into fitness through running with my friend Jimi at Keele. The first few times were very hard and I always got cramps. As it was hayfever season, I also experienced severe allergies to the trees and flowers. But Jimi did not let this deter me! He was very determined. I also got into kickboxing and swimming. The gym was to come later.

    Post-university, a trip to America meant that I put on a lot of weight and I knew that starting work, I wanted to be slim, so I decided to jog for 20minutes, 3 times a week. And it worked!  By the end of the month, I had dropped a dress size and this I think was the critical point for me as to the benefits of being fit.

    Now 7 years afterwards, I am amazed at the change I have seen in myself. Not necessariliy in dress size, but in terms of my relationship with fitness. I was very ill sometime last year and the physiotherapist told me that my relatively quick recovery was due to my level of fitness. This is proof that keeping fit works, not just for losing weight but for a general sense of well-being.

    Whenever I go jogging, I always come back feeling refreshed. Yoga relaxes and stretches out the muscle. Riding enables me to work out my inner thighs and posture and arms and swimming just gives a sense of freedom. I will say try many different exercises and choose what works for you. The gym works for some people. I prefer a sense of freedom.

    The key is a commitment to being well and staying healthy.

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    Sam: My Running Journey

    March 21st, 2012

    I’ve been running for about two years now, before which I was self-diagnosed with an allergy to running for longer than 3 minutes! Ok, let me be honest, running for longer than 2 minutes frightened me!

    I’ve always been an active person that enjoyed exercise, but my aversion to running meant that I would focus too much on resistance training because I’d get bored on the cross-trainer or rowing machine. I was in a routine of working out at the gym once or twice a week and cycling 4 miles to work three or four days a week (might I add, not really seeing any difference in my body or fitness, except the fact that my thighs were getting bigger, d’oh!), when my friend suggested doing the 5km run for Breast Cancer Research. And that’s where my running journey began!

    Despite my protests, I did the run. I wasn’t particularly happy with my time (38 minutes), and regretted not training for it harder and sooner, but it did inspire me to improve my fitness and just enjoy running more. Soon after the charity run, I was running 5km two or three times a week in the gym, steadily cutting off seconds from my time. But my understanding of fitness and healthy living were still pretty weak, and I wasn’t consistent, nor was I pushing myself hard enough.

    Now, two years later, I think I can say that I’ve finally got into my groove. I don’t run 5km (or 3 miles) that often – I save the longer runs for weekends or times when I haven’t been able to run for ages. Instead, I mix up my routine, with 3-4km runs, resistance training, lots of walking, swimming and aerobic workouts, about four times a week. And something that I’ve neglected in the past – diet. I read somewhere, I think it was Ciara, that losing weight or getting in shape is 20% exercise and 80% what you eat. So I’ve (finally) taken that on board and tried to improve my diet. I’ve never really been a junk food addict, but I do eat out a lot. So I’ve done a lot of research into common low-fat or high-calorie restaurant foods and drinks, and I’m more careful when I’m choosing what to order (e.g. I stopped drinking alcohol, and stopped even getting mocktails due to the high sugar content).

    I’ve found that this time around, I’ve had the most significant (and fastest) gains in my physique and fitness. My running times are okay – I do 3km (about 1.8 miles) in about 17 minutes, and each week I’m getting a little faster. But because my focus is more on just enjoying running and exercise, it’s been easier to be consistent.

    I’m fortunate to be around people who are interested in healthy living, so they encourage me and their successes and dedication motivates me. Also, I’m a bit of a competitive person, so if I think someone’s doing a little better than me, I feel guilty for slacking! So I push myself to go for that run, or to run a little bit faster, or do that extra kilometer.

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    The Road to Fitness

    March 21st, 2012

    It was the end of the Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos, and I was going through BellaNaija’s website for pictures of the event, when I came across a picture of Alex Wek strolling and I thought, I love these legs – cue – putting the picture   up on my BB status and asking “how can I get legs like these?”

    Yes, my dear friends told me my legs were perfectly toned, etc and I am a bit of a fitness junkie, only a little bit, I promise. Then my cousin started talking about her 2.5 hrs gym sessions and I thought, no! That is too much, not optimal, and as we started to exchange ideas on what was optimal/not, some other friends asked similar questions about fitness, and “The Road to Fitness” BBM group (for now) was born. Our tag line is “on you marks, get set, Go!” and this will be the theme of the series: dispelling rumours, sharing best practices, quelling trepidation of exercise, getting the necessary fitness equipment and then going!

    Fitness is a lifelong quest, a lifestyle change, not a 4week challenge, although it is good to set landmark goals, but more than anything, it is a commitment to live well, just like showering daily and brushing one’s teeth are routine, regular exercise should be a part of our lives…


    Your Fitness Enthusiasts: Adun and Samantha

    March 21st, 2012

    We thought to write a little bit about ourselve so you have an idea of who we are etc. We hope to have contributions from others and will soon be asking for online interviews from our readers so we can understand your fitness challenges and try to come up with ways to get you on the road to fitness!


    Adun’s interests are wide and varied but suffice to say she enjoys reading, cooking, hosting friends, organising events and exercising. Yes, fitness. She will be writing on our fitness column on the road to fitness. Fitness is a journey and not a crash course, more like a marathon as opposed to a 100m race. When she’s not trying out taebo, jogging, tennis, swimming, cycling, riding, yoga or pilates, she’s reading or writing her PhD thesis in Intelligent Leadership at the University of Surrey.



    Samantha is a writer cum health enthusiast. She is always trying out new things to keep the health and fitness journey fun and effective including yoga, ballet and badminton; although she admits she’s not much of a dieter! Samantha believes that the approach to good health should be a holistic, continual process that involves improving the mind, spirit and body (and finances!). In addition to writing and obsessing over health and fitness issues, she also works as a project manager and will soon be doing a Masters in  Public Health at the University of Nottingham.

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    Unhealthy Relationships-Domestic Violence

    June 23rd, 2011

    Relationships are hard. Relationships are tough, they are a lot of work, I have heard this said so many times, and I seem to be hearing a lot of it lately, as different friends are at different stages of life, of relationships, what their concept of a relationship is and what they believe they should contribute to, compromise on, work on, and even accept in a relationship. Now when I say relationship, I am talking about a committed relationship between two people, so it could be at any stage up to marriage.

    I have heard interesting things of what many partners tolerate, for different reasons. Some verge on the normal, others verge on the slightly beyond normal, and even some others veer towards the strange. But I guess everyone is different and people have a choice that they can choose to exercise at any point in time, in any way that they want to.

    But I do not understand why people tolerate or accept violence from their partners. Okay, let me re-phrase that: I do not know why people would be violent to their partners. I do not know why a person would choose to be violent to another person, let alone their partner, the person they claim to them is special, that they love, the mother or father of their children (because even though society has allowed us to think of domestic violence only in terms of men being violent to women, women are violent to men too).

    Why this happens, I do not know. I know that it means something must be truly wrong, psychologically with the health of the relationship. I also know that people will behave as badly as you allow them to. So the question is what is stopping a refusal, a downright non-acceptance? Many things come into play – love, the hope that they might change, that love perseveres – yes Love should persevere but not at the detriment to your health, mental, physical, emotional or otherwise. It could be because of the children – but I tell you that the children viewing such violence are even worse-off as this would affect their view of the world and sometimes provide a warped sense of what relationships ought to be about. It could be because of shame, shame to accept the death of something that has already died. It could also be due to other factors, depression, drugs, at which point then I suggest the person needs to get help and their refusal to get help is not an excuse to continue to bring hurt.

    It could also be because it is hard, hard to accept that this is happening, even sometimes, we think it must be our fault, and see it as a penance for past wrong-doings. Now I do not know what exactly applies in any of these cases. What I do know, from children of abusive relationships is that it is unhealthy and it is unnecessary. Violence is violence, full stop. It is not acceptable in society, and should not be acceptable in relationships.

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    February 5th, 2011

    I was reading recently in one of the weekly magazines about orgasms and how many women faked it. Now before you start to wonder what this article is about, bear with me. Well, the write-up included surveys of women, and the  different ways and reasons why they felt that they had to ‘fake it’. Most of the time, it was so as not to hurt the man, his ego, emotions, and what not. One would feel that perhaps this could be a matter of the duration of the  relationship. Yet, even when these copulatory partners were temporary, they still felt compelled to fake it. Even in permanent relationships, they still faked it. And it got me thinking, if relationships are our most intimate social interactions with others – some sexual, emotional, psychological, etc – what then does this mean if people fake it, even married couples?

    Now this is the point of the  article!Why is it that people do not feel comfortable enough to be themselves in relationships? To bare it all? You know. Reveal themselves for who they are, because if a person can’t accept you, then why would you want to be with them? Well, that is my point of view. Whatever happened to communication, honesty, etc. Time and time again, a new expert comes up with the secret to relationships and marriages. I am no relationship expert per se, but I tell you this – communication, is the single most important factor in the quality of a relationship. We humans are social creatures and therefore need to communicate – although I must say, some need to talk more regularly/often than others (including yours truly) But What does this mean for our relationships if we are faking it, in other non-sexual ways, not baring our all – for fear of not hurting the other.

    In many cases, the other party would want to know how you felt, what made you tick,  what makes you unhappy and even, yes even if a particular habit that they have annoys you – if you don’t let them know how can they stop? If you don’t show it, how will they know?  Interestingly, the article didn’t talk about men faking it. Does this mean that men are more open/honest in relationships or even scarier – that men are non-communicative that they can’t speak about it at all, even annonymously to a newspaper magazine?

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