Walking; the steps towards a balanced life and good mental health.

Walking has always been one thing that people have done to get away from the woes of life and to get their minds back on track. I mean they even did it in the 1800s to escape the fast-growing industrial lifestyle that was unavoidable. Streets and towns were created with the intention to encourage walking for increased wellness. Sidewalks, public parks, and promenades are great examples of this.

But when thinking about walking, I think about my family and the impact of walking on my life…

As a family walking was the one way we knew it was time to destress, disappear for a little while, exercise, and also enjoy nature and the world around us. For years my parents took us on walks, mostly to tire out our little legs but to get us exploring the world, something I will appreciate. It was something that stuck with me and my sisters. It was something that we did to raise money for important moments and was a routine way to spend quality time while being taught how to use a map without getting lost in the process. 

If the chance came to walk a route and there were a few cool things on the way…Why not? Again the time this worked out well as being a student and not having a car, because walking is always easy on the pockets and gets us to the needed location, but with obvious travel time calculations.

With reflection walking now is almost a luxury in the fast-paced and often uncertain times we live in. We take the car for most of our fast-paced lives and forget to really slow it down, even when we have the time. It’s like when we aren’t moving or getting somewhere fast, we are late. Ironic right?

Abuja Traffic. (Image from the internet)

Walking in the city of Abuja gave me a chance to see the city from a different lens and perspective. It allowed me to feel like a part of the life of the country and to really see things that I often neglected to acknowledge. Some of the most beautiful walks with a loved one, alone or significant other, have included some self-reflection, insightful conversation, finding new locations, great company, giggles and even some surprising runs in with friends at junctions and traffic lights (and I don’t mean Road Safety or VIO). 

My routes often included the Maitama hills and residential streets as they brought a gentle hum and lull that was needed compared to the loud horns you hear in the city, with the added bonus of it being safe. It is even surprisingly cooler because of the trees lodged on either side of the streets; nature’s canopy and protection from the sun and those unexpected showers. 

Mississippi Street, F.C.T Abuja.(Google Maps)

Walking benefits

Now you didn’t get legs to just run. No way. We got them to walk and that is more powerful than some may think. Take for instance that a 30-minute walk can burn up to the same amount of calories as running and when done for longer can burn even more depending on the terrain explored. I would even say that walking with your favourite music makes it even more enjoyable. The health benefits of walking improve so many facets of our physical and mental health. 

To name a few: 

  • Improved mood 
  • More alertness
  • Great for Meditation/relaxation
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves blood flow/circulation 
  • Improves cardiovascular endurance
  • Increases metabolism and fat burning (over prolonged time)
  • Anyone can do it! 
  • Comes at no expense 

What I take when walking

Okay, like I said I used to walk with my family and loved ones so there are particular routines and things to pack or prepare to do a walk. Here are some of my tips.

  • Plan a route and let a trusted person know where you plan to walk 
  • Check the weather report! (the number of times I have been soaked based on my dad’s serendipitous adventures in the woods in winter.. sigh)
  • Use or apply sunscreen before the walk
  • Keep some cash in hand – enough for a taxi, drink/snack; avoid carrying your wallet.
  • Take a small bottle of water
  • Wear a hat, visor and or sunglasses (if it is in the day). For this I would suggest appropriate attire for the weather- hence the weather check.
  • Comfortable shoes can make a big difference; New Balance trainers, cushion and impact support shoes are great, as walking shoes or walking boots. If you don’t have these whatever you are comfortable in. 

Want to join the walking culture to support Mental Health Initiatives? 

Well, why not start by signing up for the upcoming event Nigerian Mental Health Awareness Walk in the next coming days on Saturday 15th of October 2022 at 8 am WAT.  The event is being hosted by many leading mental health stakeholders including WHO, the National Mental Health Programme, the International Organization for Migration, CBM Global, MHYI and Rayven Strategic Communication. Participants will meet at the Unity Fountain at 8 am.

 To be a part of the revolution in shifting the perspective and narrative of mental health, Sign Up Now.

To keep up to date with more offers and events Tribe Sports Store offers on our Facebook and  Instagram @tribesportsstore.

Written by: @fitkaytoday and @mr_intensity365

What’s in My Gym Bag? The Essentials.

What’s in My Gym Bag? The Essentials.

What to have in your gym bag and why does it matter?

Ever arrived at the gym and realized that you forgot something like headphones, socks, or believe it or not your gym shoes, I know I have forgotten all 3 of them at one point or the other.

What type of Gym bag should I have?

Before you start packing your gym bag after reading this post you may want to consider the size of your bag and how much stuff you throw into the bag. It makes no sense to carry a bag that is too big or stuff so much into a small bag. The right size of gym bag has to be able to carry all of the things you need for the gym, and also be mobile enough to carry on a taxi or public transport.

There are various types of bags, drawstrings, duffle bags, mini duffle bags and backpacks. Make sure to check the lining of the bag and if it is water resistant, thank us later. Keep in mind that a good quality bag with compartments can often cost more money so factor in your use and activity.

What should be in your bag?

  • Waterbottle (100ml)

  • Gym shoes

  • Snack

  • Headphones /Charger

  • Towel

  • Spare Gym clothing

  • Cold or Heat Spray/Aboniki

  • KT Tape (Kinesiology Tape)

  • Training Gloves

  • Wraps/Bandages

  • Hygiene /sanitary products

  • Slip-on/Crocs

  • Deodorant

  • Plastic Bag (for wet stuff)

Spare of everything –  we MEAN it.

Sweating buckets is not a joke. For many of us that are based around the centre of the equator, humidity, heat and damn right lack of light or A.Cs make it impossible to keep dry.  Having an extra pair of all my training gear is essential. An extra pair of shorts, socks, underwear and a shirt are almost permanently in my bag. For a lot of ladies having an extra pair of sports bras and even emergency sanitary products makes the biggest difference when faced with the sudden realisation of starting your period.

What injury items to have to save the day?

I am no professional when it comes to injury prevention but I can sure tell you that some of the items I’ll mention may just save your life and that of a fellow gymmer. Using cold spray or heat spray products helps with sudden inflammation or DOMS that I am recovering from. An all-time favourite that can be bought anywhere is Aboniki; the cure for all ailments, according to our parents in West Africa.

Bandages, wraps and kinesiology tape are a must-have in your gym bag. Why you might ask? Well if you suffer from acute or on-and-off joint or pressure, these can support that, especially when you pull or sprain a muscle. But… if the pain continues you definitely need to see a professional.

Toiletries and keeping up hygiene with all the sweat.

That funk you got is not cute. Having the funk after a workout is pretty normal but not handling it …is well not great. A lot of the time gym users forget that toiletries and hygiene products are an essential addition to their gym bag and general hygiene habits. Having a towel to wipe yourself and the equipment after use cannot be overstated. We all hate looking down at the equipment and wondering who could have done this (gasp).


Toiletries could include, deodorant, a wash bag with soap, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion and even some good funk, your favourite perfume. But remember that even a change of training shoes is also a great way to maintain healthy feet and avoid the funk too.


Article Written by: @fitkaytoday, @mr_intensity365



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