We are fast approaching the time of year when people stop and take stock of their lives. We are talking about the start of another new year – a time when people choose a New Year’s resolution, and one of the most common is to join a gym and get fit.

Although people will claim it is to shed the extra pounds they gained over the Christmas period, the real reason is often guilt. People feel they need to do penance for the gluttony they indulged in during the previous month. Going to a gym is a form of self-flagellation, punishment for over-indulgence.

So resolutions are made and one of those resolutions will be to fight the flab, firm the flesh and become a slim Venus or Adonis. To achieve this, head to the place which promises slenderness: the gym.

For those who reside in Islington, or plan to move to the area, we have rounded up five of the best gyms/fitness centres for you to choose from:

David Lloyd Studio
Islington 240 Upper Street, London, N1 1RU 020 7226 6744

This studio offers Orangetheory sessions.

What are Orangetheory sessions you may ask? Well, this is, the “ultimate workout”. The sessions are run at various times seven days a week, so there will be a time convenient for everyone.

What makes these sessions so effective? During the session, you will be wearing a heart monitor, and this allows your instructor to track just how hard you have been working in a 60-minute workout. The aim is to get your heart to the “orange” zone for as much of your workout as possible.

You will be pleased to know that the orange zone is different for everyone, so you will be allowed to work at your own pace.

Sounds good? If it does, then you will be delighted to know you can try a session free.

The David Lloyd Studio is a well-equipped gym, with plenty of treadmills, water rowers, ab-dollies, TRX stations and Bosu balls, and for the resistance side of the classes, there is a weight room.

So get along there and enter the orange zone.

(Please note, the orange zone should not be confused with the twilight zone. The latter should be avoided at all costs.)

Gainsborough Health & Fitness Club
Canalside, 1 Poole Street, London, N1 5EB 020 7739 5959

This establishment promises a holistic approach to keeping you fit. They aim to avoid compounding the dysfunction created by the seated lifestyle we all lead today. You are offered cable machines, cardiovascular machines, and Swiss balls (but no Swiss rolls.)

The Gainsborough also has a café serving free range and organic food (so still no Swiss rolls then.)

They also promise you a complete change of air every eight hours. Interesting.

Fitness First – Angel Gym
361-373 City Road EC1V 1LR London 020 7239 0390

This gym boasts to be not just a gym, but a training partner. To be fair, many of their reviews reflect a positive view on this side of the business.
They claim they will get you motivated, and let us be honest; motivation is what most of us lack when it comes to anything in the way of physical activity.

This gym also offers Cardio Theatre Group Exercise and a Hot Yoga Beauty Room. Remember, it is hot yoga, not hot chocolate.

It also offers a reasonable start-up fee of £43.

Virgin Active
333 Goswell Road, Islington, EC1V 7DG 020 7014 9700

Virgin Active is one those health spars which offer everything you and your family could want in the way of keeping fit. Fitness programmes, a variety of activity camps and extensive swimming lessons. I suspect the last one is for people who are slow on the uptake on keeping afloat.

They also boast top of the range training equipment and offer ‘the most cutting edge classes’, which involve strength training and reconditioning. I suspect we will all require reconditioning after the seasonal festivities.

They also claim their instructors know exercise inside out and back to front. Sounds painful to me.

The MMA Clinic
29 – 30 St Albans Place, Angel Islington, London, N1 0NX 020 7226 4731

If you are serious about fighting the flab, then the MMA Clinic is the place to go. This clinic goes in for boxing, martial arts and other forms of, shall we say, combat? Here you can learn the techniques of boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts.

If you want a way to keep fit and learn a martial art, this is the place to go. However, you must provide your own kit for whatever sport you wish to take.

The reviews for this clinic have been positive and details of the sessions they hold can be found on their website.
Fighting the flab does not get better than this.

The above are just some of the gyms to be found in Islington. However if you do join one of them and emerge after a month or two radiating good health and with a perfectly toned body, I would advise against boasting to your friends and colleagues too much. Most of them will have given up on the gym in the first two weeks of January, and will be back on the bacon sandwiches.