There is an increasing body of scientific evidence to support that being physically active can help us to be healthier. However, not only can exercise have a positive effect on our health, it can also make us feel happier.

It is believed that exercise increases the levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the body which are naturally produced chemicals. An increased level of these chemicals has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

As part of my Osteopathic BSc (Hons) Medicine and Naturopathic degree I undertook a study on ‘The effects of Exercise Training on Clinical Depression’, ahich was overseen by the founder of ‘Exercise on Prescription’ GP Dr Hanratty.

In addition to the physical and mental health benefits, taking exercise can also be socially beneficial.

Get outdoors and take some exercise

We are fortunate in North London to have a number of great places to get outdoors and take some exercise. On our doorstep here in Muswell Hill N2 and East Finchley N10 is Alexandra Park.

The Park is conveniently located for the surrounding areas of Finchley and Highgate. You can get more information about Alexandra Park and directions here.

Walking is a great form of exercise

A great form of exercise is walking and in North London we have access to many walking paths all around us. One such example is the Highgate and Hampstead circular walk .

The Northern Heights Circuit, as it is known, is a nine mile long self-guided trail, taking in 350 points of interest around Highgate, Hampstead and Hampstead Heath. It is broken into sections e.g. Section 1 is 2 miles long and runs between Highgate Village to Kenwood House. Section 2 is 1 mile long and runs between Highgate Village to Parliament Hill Fields.

With such great locations there’s no excuse for not getting outdoors and taking some exercise.