It was a new year’s resolution for most of us to get fit and active for 2019 and with Hillingdon having some of the best sports facilities in the borough what is the excuse for not getting involved?

According to the NHS website, keeping fit can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer by up to 50% and also lowering risk of early death by up to 30%! Research has shown that exercise doesn’t just improve physical health but also mental wellbeing as physically active people tend to have higher self esteem and improved mood in comparison to those that aren't. Knowing these facts could help ditch the “did the walk to the fridge for some food count as exercise?" mindset that I know at least I have been guilty of before.

So how does the borough of Hilingdon link into this? Well Hillingdon has countless sports and fitness faculties: Highgrove pool and fitness in Ruislip, Hillingdon Sports and leisure and Botwell Green Sports and Leisure in Hayes are the three main sites. They each host whole range of fitness classes, swimming sessions and excellent gym facilities and the timetables for these are available online along with physical copies handed out in reception (image 3). Botwell green’s fitness classes include yoga on a Monday evening and total body conditioning on a Thursday afternoon; Botwell also boasts an impressive gymnasium that attracts people ages around 4-18 years from within the borough and nearby (images 1 and 4 )

Moreover physical education is greatly encouraged in schools in Hillingdon as physical education being a part of the school curriculum up until the age of 16. Recently on the 30th of January Swakeleys School for Girls students in the 'Swakeleys dance squad' attended a dance competition held in the dance studio of Bishopshalt school (image 2) Maryam Lazraq a year 7 dancer in the squad rehearsed every lunch and after school in preperation for the competition and had this to day about how it went for her:

"Our school was second to dance and we did a hip-hop/street dance. We were a little nervous at first but once we started dancing the nerves went away and it was really fun."

Talking to Maryam made me realise that exercise doesn't have to be laborious and dull but great fun too and it is important that schools teach this through offering these opportunities to pupils.

Hopefully after reading this article you might feel inspired to make use of the facilities in Hillingdon or even in your own borough or school.