We are so used to high paced, super active, high intensity exercises as part of our drive to get better bodies and to get as fit as we can as quickly as possible that we often forget about our minds and inner sense of wellbeing. Doing exercises that promote mindfulness and increase mind-body connection will promote an inner sense of wellbeing, increase awareness, boost mental clarity as well as build healthy bodies.

Here are 4 exercises you can try that boost both our bodies and our minds:

Yoga

Yoga is a mind body exercise that originated in India. Whilst, there are various schools of yoga, they all promote similar things: strengthening of the body, flexibility, greater awareness, greater mind body connection and less stress and anxiety.

You can practice yoga in Lagos at, Yoga Sutra, V/I, Bodyline Gym, Ikoyi, Four Points Gym (Four Points Hotel), Oniru,  Alexis Studio, V/I,  or at Chi’s Yoga at the American GQ, Ikoyi.

Swimming

Swimming is another great all body exercise that improves muscle tone, flexibility, general fitness and heart health. Because you spend so much of the exercise focusing on your breath and strokes, swimming tends to ‘quieten’ the mind, lending to a meditative like state, which increases one’s awareness.

There aren’t many public places to swim in Lagos, but you can try Ikoyi Club, Ikoyi, the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Four Points Gym, Oniru, the Lilygate Hotel, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos Country Club, Ikeja or the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja

Pilates

Pilates, named after its founder Joseph Pilates, is a series of controlled movements that constitutes a whole body exercise. Pilates helps to build one’s core strength, improve posture and increase flexibility. It also increases one’s mental focus, one’s mind-body connection and one’s body awareness.

Pilates is relatively new to Lagos, but you can try classes at Bodyline Gym, Ikoyi, Four Points Gym, Oniru, Yoga Sutra, V/I and Alexis Studio, V/I.

Walking

Walking is one of the best exercises out there because of it’s low impact on the body and several health benefits it offers. Walking reduces stress, improves brain health, boosts your immune system and helps to reduce body fat. Walking is great because it offers one the space to think and also allows us the space to tune into what’s happening internally.

You can literally walk anywhere in Lagos, but be mindful of traffic and pollution. Try to walk in a clean and open air space like the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge. This has a scenic view with lots of fresh air.