SPORT in the City

Go with the flow by Joe Campbell

Sport in London sports hall badminton shuttle cock

it’s 2015 and by now we all know just how important regular exercise is for our physical and mental health. We are also starting to get a better idea of how to spend our time in the gym more effectively (with the treadmill looking more and more lonely compared to the high intensity areas). If you are like me, despite the rush of endorphins that come after a good session at the gym, sometimes motivation can be a struggle. Here’s my best, albeit not so groundbreaking tip: play sports!

Whilst working out regularly is a great way to stay in shape, the benefits of playing regular sport can help even more. In fact, research has even suggested that the intensity and range of movements involved in a game of 5-a-side football is better for your health than going for a run or lifting weights. The logic behind this is that the sustained, stop-start nature of a game is fantastic for burning fat and building fitness and is itself a form of that high intensity interval training (HIIT) that you’ve been hearing so much about.

It is not just physical benefits that we get from playing sport either, current research suggests that we also get a significant mental boost, too.

“the empowered feeling you get when fully focused, motivated and content

According to 5-a-side.com, some psychologists believe that the key to living a happy life is to get as much ‘flow’ experience as possible. ‘Flow’ is the term used to describe the optimal mental state that one experiences when fully immersed in a challenging task, that empowered feeling you get when fully focused, motivated and content with the activity you are doing. People who play sport regularly are shown to have a generally high level of flow when they are playing.

Of course, that’s all well and good if you are young male who is into football, but what about everyone else? Well, our capital has no shortage of options for all genders, ages, abilities and interests. Below is a selection of local sports centres and the facilities they offer:

Fusion Lifestyle
Various locations
www.fusion-lifestyle.com

  • Activities and sports for disabled people
  • Activities and sports for the elderly

Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Centre
St. George’s Road, Elephant & Castle
www.fusion-lifestyle.com

  • 5-a-side pitches
  • Floodlit courts
  • Outdoor basketball courts

Surrey Docks Watersports Centre
Rope Street, Rotherhithe
www.fusion-lifestyle.com

  • Watersports activities and courses

Colombo Centre
Colombo Street, Southwark
www.jubileehalltrust.org/colombo-centre

  • Badminton & Tennis courts, plus tennis coaching
  • Netball & Basketball courts
  • 5-a-side pitches & leagues

LSBU Sports Centre
London Road, Elephant & Castle
www1.lsbu.ac.uk/sports

  • Sports hall & gym
  • Dance studio

Millenium Arena
Battersea Park, Battersea
www.wandsworth.gov.uk

  • Floodlit, multipurpose, all weather playing surfaces
  • Running track
  • Fitness centre with gym facilities

Powerleague Vauxhall
Black Prince Road, Vauxhall
www.powerleague.co.uk

  • High quality 5/7-a-side pitches
  • Corporate events & function room
  • Zorb Football – a fun new form of football

Of course, these are not the only local places where one can work up a sweat, but if you are looking for a place to train, play and compete, either as a group or as an individual, why not pay a visit to one of the above centres for a full run down of the activities and courses they offer. Get active, have fun and increase your flow!

Sport London Football powerleague vauxhall tony adams pitch grand opening

Former England defender Tony Adams at the opening of Powerleague Vauxhall

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