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Exercise and sport

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Exercising is vital to staying healthy and looking after your body. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%, and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Exercise is good for mental as well as physical well-being. Regular exercise can help to reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.

No matter what your age, ability or level of fitness, there's an exercise activity for you - whether it's walking in a park or nature reserve, playing team sports like bowls or football, lifting weights in the gym, joining in a dance or aerobics class, or doing light exercises designed especially for people with health problems. You can do a little or a lot.

Exercise is often free and easy to do, and can have immediate benefits.

The NHS website has a lot of useful information and ideas on exercise.

Take a look at our Events section where we are gathering together information on local activities which will help people of all ages and abilities to exercise and get fit.

And if you know other activities which we can include then please tell us about them!

One You Westminster and One You Kensington and Chelsea aim to help you get back to a healthier you, supporting you to make simple changes towards a longer and happier life. Providing stop smoking and cardiovascular services, Man vs Fat football clubs, as well as One You clubs enabling you to come together through healthy activities and helping you make healthy lifestyle choices.
Find out more about the service by calling on 020 3434 2500.

Playing a sport can be a fun way to do some exercise and get fit and healthy, whilst meeting other people.

The BBC provides it's Get Inspired's comprehensive A-Z guide and Activity Finder to search for a wide range of sport and activities in your area.

The Get Active London website provides an extensive data base of sports clubs, venues and activities across the London area

And you can find information about local leisure centres, sports and fitness facilities in parks and sports clubs on your local council sport and leisure pages:

Westminster

The council provides information on local sports facilities on their website.

The Active Westminster card allows free swimming and discounts on other sports for many residents of the borough including people with disabilities, those over 65, carers and people looking for employment.

Hammersmith and Fulham

The council provides information on local sports facilities on their website.

Kensington and Chelsea

The council provides information on local sports facilities on their website.

RBKC Leisure Service's Active For Life programme has produced a programme of activities going on around the borough.

The council's Leisure Pass is a concessionary membership which allows you to enjoy the sports and leisure facilities on offer in the borough. Amongst residents who are eligible for the pass are people aged 60 and over, people who are registered disabled, and people who are looking for work.

Even a gentle stroll on a regular basis can make all the difference and help you to stay fitter and healthier. Although we live in central London there are lots of parks and open spaces where you can find some peace and quite and stretch your legs.

Check your local council's website for details of parks and public gardens in your area:-

If you are unable to get outside for exercise, there are loads of great ways you can get and stay active at home or out in your garden.

  • Sport England - As part of their #StayInWorkOut campaign they have compiled some resources on how to stay active indoors.
  • Nike Training Club - offers 185 free workouts at varying different skill levels. And, the workouts come in all different categories to suit your exercise preferences and goals, such as strength, endurance and even mobility training.
  • POPSUGAR Fitness - Over 500 ad-free workouts from celebrity trainers and fitness experts, including POPSUGAR’s exclusive multi-week challenges. The app 'Active by POPSUGAR' is also free to use at this time. 
  • Our Parks - Our Parks is known for delivering fitness sessions in parks across London and the UK. On their YouTube channel you can find at-home workouts, delivered by qualified instructors, to do at any time of the day.
  • Sweaty Betty - Workout from home with Sweaty Betty's online fitness classes. With workouts ranging from yoga to HIIT, you'll be able to find a class to suit your timeframe and fitness level.
  • NHS home workouts - You can also follow these home workout videos from the NHS, which includes a strengthening workout and a 10-minute cardio workout.
  • Fitness Blender - Fitness Blender believes fitness should be accessible to everyone, everywhere. With hundreds of professionally led workouts, as well as a positive community, you’ll have everything you need to reach your personal fitness goals.

Lower Intensity Workouts

  • 10 Today - A set of fun, 10-minute workouts intended to easily fit into your day that help get you stretching and moving at home. You can find audio or video workouts on the 10 Today website.
  • Move it or Lose it - Founded by exercise instructor Julie Robinson, Move it or Lose it has created a series of fitness videos for older people.
  • NHS sitting exercises - Sitting exercises are great for all ages, but particularly if you're over 65. Click on the button below to also find strength, balance and flexibility exercises.
  • Strengthen and Stretch - Endorsed by FLexercise, Strengthen and Stretch offers fun and friendly, weekly online exercise sessions for older adults that work the whole body.

People with disabilities and health problems and older people can find the idea of taking up sport and exercise to be daunting, or assume that it is not something that they can get involved in. You should always check with your doctor about what is safe and realistic for you but even if you need a wheelchair to get around there are exercises you can do.

Many of the sports clubs and leisure centres in your local area will have enhanced access arrangements for people with disabilities, and will provide activities and sports targetted at people with disabilities.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the national charity and body for disabled people in sport and physical activity throughout England.

Sport England provide information on sports opportunities for people with disabilities.

The England Athletics website enables disabled athletes wanting to take part in athletics to register online for support to find a local club and coach.

The British Deaf Sports Personality of the Year website provides links to many sports clubs and organisations for deaf people and people with hearing loss

The Parasport website has a searchable directory of clubs and organisations offering opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in a wide range of sports.

Disability Sports Coach provide sporting opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the UK.

Scope provide information on disability sport and fitness.

Easy read button

Mencap offer information and advice on getting involved with sport for people with learning disabilities, including an easy-read guide.

UK Deaf Sport aims to encourage deaf people to participate, to enjoy and to excel at sport.

Metro is a London-based Sports and Social Club for blind and partially sighted people of all ages. Members include many of the UK's top international sports men and women, but they are also here for those who are new to sport or who want to enjoy less competitive activities.

The London Sports Club For The Blind promotes and organizes recreational activities for blind and and partially sighted adults in the Greater London area.

The NHS website provide advice on getting fit and losing weight for people who use a wheelchair.

You can also get involved in many healthy activities and light exercise programmes - find out more about what's going on locally in our Events calendar, or take a look our Things to do section for some ideas.

If you need help to get to a particular sport or exercise venue take a look at our transport options pages.

NHS Fitness Studio has instructor-led videos in aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga categories, which range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, to allow you to exercise in the comfort of your own home.

The Change4Life website provides lots of information and suggestions on exercise and activities for people of all ages and abilities, and helps you to search for activities in your area.

Walking for Health is England's largest network of health walk schemes, helping all kinds of people to lead a more active lifestyle.

Age UK offer information and advice on keeping fit.

Silverfit is a fitness charity organising regular events and social activities to help older people to increase their fitness regardless of their ability or background.

The British Heart Foundation's Get Active and Stay Active pages are some of many which they have produced with advice on taking exercise and staying fit and healthy.

Fitcial offer a range of fitness activities to participate in, both indoor and outdoor; including activities that are family-themed, and activities that are suitable for people with disabilities.

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The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about the benefits of exercise.