Get Active

Please note, England has moved into a national lockdown. As a result, some of the activities on this page may not currently be running as planned or be temporarily paused. This has been specified within each section below.

Remember, the new restrictions mean you can leave your home to exercise once per day, and you can exercise in your own home as many times per day as you like – below are fun and enjoyable suggestions of what activities you can do during this time.

If exercising in a public outdoor place, you can do this either by yourself, with the people you live with, with your support bubble, in a childcare bubble, or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone you do not live with. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

For a full breakdown of restrictions and exercising safely, visit GOV.UK.

Be as active as you can, as often as you can. When it comes to exercise, some is good, but more is better!

Being active is important for keeping a healthy body and mind at every stage of life:

  • Reduces the risk of developing many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers
  • Improves mental health, sleep, concentration and mood.
  • Find out more about the benefits of being active.

Fitting some physical activity into your day is easier than you think. Islington offers lots of opportunities to get active – from exploring the borough through walking, to dancing with friends. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you do – every minute counts!

Check out the range of free and low cost options available in Islington below!

  • Move at Home
    • Move at Home

      Let’s move at home

      You don’t always need a lot of space to be active – even a few strength exercises, such as squats, push ups or sit ups at home can improve your mood and build up fitness.

      Try to reduce long periods of not moving at all by taking regular breaks from sitting still. How about doing ten sit-to-stand moves from your chair or some arm raises above your head?

      For those looking for more structured activity ideas to do at home, try Couch To Fitness. Bit by bit, you’ll feel fitter when you join this free nine week at-home exercise plan for beginners.

       

       

  • Go for a walk
    • Go for a walk

      Let’s go for a walk

      There are lots of interesting places to travel to on foot in Islington. To get you started, here’s a link to a range of local walks.

      Parks and open spaces are great for connecting with nature and opportunities to be active and meet other people. Find out more about where your local Islington park is here.

      Use Islington Council’s Clean Air Routes map to discover cleaner and quieter roads.

      TfL has produced information on scenic and interesting walks which can be found all across central and Greater London.

      The Capital Ring and Jubilee Greenway walks both go through Islington.

      Even a ten minute walk or wheel around the neighbourhood can improve our mood. The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do. Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go!

       

       

       

  • Join a walking group
    • Join a walking group

      Let’s walk together

      Unfortunately walking groups are currently unavailable due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted.

      If you’re unsure about where to walk in Islington, why not join a walking group?

      Walking with others can help embed new healthy habits, and it’s also an opportunity to meet like-minded people in your community. Discovering new places with others can be really beneficial for your mental and physical health. Here are a few suggested walking groups:

      Izzwalkz

      • Izzwalkz is for anyone who wants to get outdoors and meet up with like-minded people. To find out more about future Izzwalks walks please check their website.

      Hampstead Ramblers Group

      • The group organises walks ranging from less than four to more than 16 miles, taking place throughout London and the South-East.

      Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association

      • Guided, mostly paid for walks (£7-£15), of hidden and historic Islington.

      Highbury Walkers

      • This peer-led group provide regular walking sessions and gentle exercise in a sociable and supportive atmosphere.  The group meet each Monday morning in Highbury Fields. To book a place contact: highburywalkers@gmail.com

      Islington U3A

      • This organisation run short and long walks for Islington, and beyond. The groups are wonderfully balanced; some join walks regularly, others less frequently.

       

  • Go for a run
    • Go for a run

      Let’s go for a run

      Want to find out more about running in Islington? Why not try the options below to increase your activity?

      • Why not run around the parks in Islington? There are over 100 parks and open spaces in Islington. Tufnell Park playing fields also has a marked 475-metre route.Would you like to try running, but don’t know how to start? Why not try the One You Couch to 5K app?The One You Couch to 5k app has been designed to get you off the couch and running in just 9 weeks. There is now a choice of 5 trainers to support and motivate you every step of the way, telling you when to walk and when to run.
      • Parkrun, which takes place in Highbury Fields is a free 5k Saturdays 9am. Currently unavailable due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted
      • Junior Parkrunis a 2k which takes place on Sundays at 9.30am. Currently unavailable due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted
      • Good Gym, which combines running with doing good in the community. This group meet on Mondays at 6.45pm, The Arc Centre, 98b St Paul Street, N1 7DF. Currently unavailable due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted

      The One You Couch to 5k app has been designed to get you off the couch and running in just 9 weeks. There is now a choice of 5 trainers to support and motivate you every step of the way, telling you when to walk and when to run.

       

  • Go for a bike ride
    • Go for a bike ride

      Let’s go cycling

      • Cycling can be a great way to get active and explore your local area, and there are lots of ways cycling can be accessed in the borough. Go to islington.coordinate.cloud to keep up to date with what’s available in Islington
      • Adult 1:1 cycle skills and family cycle skills sessions are now available and are being delivered in a socially distanced way. To book a session visit islington.gov.uk/cycle. Please note, only adult 1:1 cycle skills are currently available due to lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted
      • If you are thinking of starting cycling, try a bike from £20 per month. The Try Before You Bike scheme allows you to try a bike for a monthly fee. Just choose your new bike and accessories using the helpful online tools, the bike gets delivered and you will be given a free cycle skills session to get you started.
      • Want to try an electric bike? Download the Lime e-bike app to find your nearest bike and unlock your bike.
      • TfL also have a Santander hire scheme which costs just £2 per 30 minutes.
  • For people with a disability
    • For people with a disability

      Let’s all get active

      The NHS has a great guide to getting active if you have a disability or long-term health condition.

      This guide will help you:

      • build activity into your day
      • search for activities or classes
      • browse activities and sports

      Find more information on the NHS website.

      Also, there is a range of fantastic online home workout videos for those with disabilities, more information can be found on the Parasport website.

  • Join a gym or sports activity
    • Join a gym or sports activity

      Let’s move with a local club or leisure centre

      Unfortunately gyms and leisure centres are currently closed due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted or go to the Better website for the latest updates on COVID and the leisure centres.

      There are over 60 sports and other types of physical activity on offer in Islington at more than 100 clubs, leisure centres, parks, community centres and other venues. There is something for everyone, whatever your physical ability or whether you have a disability.

      All the latest information on Islington leisure centres and activities available can be found on the Better website. Measures have been put in place to ensure that the facilities are COVID-safe.

      For the latest updates on COVID and the leisure centres can be found on the Better website.

  • For families and young people
    • For families and young people

      Let’s get active as a family

      Please note, some of these activities may currently be closed as a result of Government restrictions. Please check the provider’s webpage or contact the provider ahead of attending.

      Getting active as a whole family can be a great way to stay motivated and have fun with your children. Here is a link to a directory of support and activities for children and families to get involved in.

      The Access to Sports project is a community led, creative & innovative sports development charity that works across the London boroughs of Islington, Haringey & Hackney and provide a diverse coaching programme across a variety of sports for young people and adults. They also have home exercise classes available. Click here for more information on Access to Sports.

  • For gardeners
    • For gardeners

      Let’s get active through gardening

      Green Gyms are fun and free outdoor sessions where you will be guided in practical activities such as planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds. Unlike other gardening and conservation projects, the emphasis is very much on health and fitness – volunteers warm up and cool down in preparation for a range of light to vigorous activities to suit all abilities For more information, go to https://www.tcv.org.uk/london/green-gym-london/islington-green-gym/

      Currently unavailable due to Government lockdown restrictions. Please check back again when restrictions are lifted

  • For over 55s
    • For over 55s

      Being active can help older people stay healthy and independent. Here are a few low-impact activities for you to try:

      NHS – Sitting exercises – These gentle sitting exercises will help improve your mobility and prevent falls, and can even be done at home.

      NHS – Strength exercises Strength exercises like these can be done at home to improve your health and mobility.

      NHS – Balance exercises Don’t worry if you haven’t done much exercise for a while – these balance exercises are gentle and easy to follow.

      NHS – Flexibility exercises These flexibility exercises can be done at home to help improve your health and mobility.

      Click here to find a range of activities available for over 55’s in Islington and here for a directory of activity providers near you.

  • For weight loss
    • For weight loss

      Rebalance is a 12 week, group, weight-loss programme of exercise and dietary advice for overweight or obese adults. It covers nutritional advice, healthy-eating guidance, online, cognitive behavioural support and help to get active.

      You can refer yourself for our Rebalance programme if you meet the following criteria:

      • Resident of Camden or Islington and/or registered with a Camden or Islington GP
      • Express a willingness and motivation to change
      • Age 18 years and older
      • If your Body Mass Index is between 30 and 50, or between 27.5 and 50 if BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) group, and do not have any co-morbidities (i.e. a diagnosed health condition)
      • Not pregnant. Service user should only participate once they are cleared to exercise after their 6–8 week post-natal check-up