Move more

Fitting some physical activity into your day is easier than you think.

Being physically active is important for keeping a healthy body and mind at every stage of life. Being active reduces the risk of developing many diseases, including  diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.  It also improves mental health, sleep, concentration and mood.

It is recommended that we should carry out at least 30 minutes’ moderate activity,  five days a week and two 30-minute strengthening sessions.

Find out more about the benefits of being active.

Islington offers lots of opportunities to get active – from exploring the borough through walking, to dancing with friends, or taking part in over 30 different activities.

Check out the range of free and low cost options available in Islington here.

  • Support to get active in Islington
    • Support to get active in Islington

      If you live in Islington or are registered with an Islington GP, you are inactive and you have certain health conditions, you might be eligible for a free 12 week programme tailored to help you increase your physical activity levels. If you are interested, please ask your GP to refer you.

  • Walking
    • Walking

      Walking has it all; every walk you take is a step towards good health. Being active is really good for your body, mind and health – and there are lots of easy ways you, your friends and family can get moving.

      How much is enough?

      The NHS recommends that people exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, but if you don’t walk very much at all, it might be good to break this down into ten minute brisk bursts, and build up to half an hour.

      Walking has the most benefits when carried out at a brisk pace. Brisk walking means taking up a pace where your breathing rate and heartbeat increase, but you can still carry on a conversation.

      You’ll find plenty of opportunities in Islington to get you moving more.

  • Benefits of walking
    • Benefits of walking

      There are many benefits of walking, it:

      • increases mobility, strength and balance, reducing the risk of falls
      • improves heart health and blood pressure
      • increases happiness and wellbeing
      • reduces the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.
      • allows you to get to know Islington better, as well as meet new people,
      • help the environment and is a great way to relax.

      The NHS website contains more information on the benefits of walking.

  • Walking Routes
    • Walking Routes

      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.

      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.

  • Islington Walking Groups
    • Islington Walking Groups

      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.


      Izzwalkz, part of Healthy Minds, Health Bods, has teamed up with Highbury Grange Medical Practice to provide a weekly health walk in Clissold Park. This group meet every Thursday at 11am outside Highbury Grange Medical Practice, 1-5 Highbury Grange, N5 2QB. This is a very social group.

      Izzwalkz has joined Highbury Walkers weekly health walk in Highbury Fields. Meet every Monday at 10am outside Highbury Pool and Gym, Highbury Fields, for a walk mixed with gentle exercise. This a terrific fun experience, social, and the group has a great mix of ages.

      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:

      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.

      Find out more about Islington U3A walks


  • Tools to help you walk more
    • Tools to help you walk more

      Sometimes it can be a lot easier to walk to nearby places. Why not get off a stop or two early from your commute to build up extra steps? Or take the school trip by foot. There are many useful walking tools to help you build up your walking, and figure out how to get to nearby places on foot.

      Active 10 

      • Monitor how often you are walking at a pace brisk enough to improve your health.
      • You can set yourself walking goals, share your progress, and plan how you will integrate more brisk walking into your day.

      Islington Clean Air Routes

      • Discover routes across the borough that are cleaner and often quieter, avoiding the busy, main roads.


      • Information on how to get around London by foot, suggested walking routes and places to see and visit.
      • They also have maps showing how many steps or minutes it takes to walk between tube stations and information on journeys that are quicker if walked.

      Walk it

      • Get a route map between any two points, including journey time, calorie burn, step count and carbon saving.
      • Search for walking directions using the journey planner or try one of the suggested walks You can select different types of routes for your walk, such as less busy streets, and areas with lower pollution.


      • Enter where you are coming from and going to and it will provide information on the different public transport / walking / cycling options, how long they take and how much they cost.
      • It will highlight where parts of your journey can be walked and will show you if this would be quicker and / or cheaper compared to taking bus, tube or taxi.

      Legible London

      • Easy-to-use signage system that presents information in a range of ways, including maps and directional information, to help people find their way.
      • Over 1,300 signs have been installed in the capital and are great for helping navigation by foot.


  • Running in Islington
    • Running in Islington

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

      • Parkrun, which takes place in Highbury Fields is a free 5k Saturdays 9am
      • Junior Parkrun is a 2k which takes place on Sundays at 9.30am
      • 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.
      • 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.

  • Green Gym
    • Green Gym

      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.

      Islington Green Gym is led by The Conservation Volunteers and Aquaterra.

      The group meet at Sunnyside Community Garden, Hazelville Rd, N19 3LX from 10.45 to 2pm every Monday (except bank holidays).

      Aquaterra offer Green Gym as part of the following two health and wellbeing programmes:

      • Rebalance is a 12 week free weight loss programme with healthy eating advice and support to get active, you can self-refer to Rebalance at or email or call 020 7974 1741
      • Exercise on referral is a 12-week free programme of exercise that will help you get active and improve your wellbeing. To join the Exercise on referral programme you need to speak to your GP or other health professionals. For more information visit or email


      For more information about Islington Green Gym, please contact