Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For health information and advice, read our pages on coronavirus. Learn about the government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK

Physical activity

Physical activity and moving more is good for your mind and body. Losing just 5-10% of your weight has massive health benefits; it can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce your blood pressure. It can also help with aches and pains and help you breathe and sleep easier.

In this section you will find information and advice on how to be more physically active.

Physical activity

NHS How fit
This leaflet is a home wellbeing guide to keeping fit.

NHS How fit
This leaflet is a home wellbeing guide to keeping fit. This version contains other resource information for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead.

Move More – NHS One You
Website with information and resources on ways to move more, including home workout videos and an exercise guide. You can also download the Active 10 app and the Couch to 5k app on this site.

Ways to Get Active – This Girl Can
This Girl Can, funded by The National Lottery, believes that there’s no right way to get active – if it gets your heart rate up it counts. And we want more women to find what’s right for them. Browse through their collection of activities to find out more about each one and how to get involved.

Ways to Move – We Are Undefeatable
Website with information for when you’re managing a long term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are many, many ways to be active, including some that people may not realise actually count.

Physical Activity for Disabled Adults – UK Chief Medical Officer’s Guidance
This infographic has some useful information on physical activity for disabled adults, including how being more physically active can help your health and wellbeing.

Physical Activity for Pregnant Women – UK Chief Medical Officer’s Guidance
This infographic has some useful information on physical activity for pregnant women, including how much activity you should be doing during pregnancy and how being more physically active can help your health and wellbeing.

Physical Activity for Children and Young People – UK Chief Medical Officer’s Guidance
This infographic has some useful information on physical activity for children and young people aged 5-18 years old, including how much activity you should be doing and how being more physically active can help your health and wellbeing.

Physical Activity for Adults and Older Adults – UK Chief Medical Officer’s Guidance
This infographic has some useful information on physical activity for adults and older adults, including how much activity you should be doing and how being more physically active can help your health and wellbeing.

Strength and Flex Exercise Plan – NHS
This 5-week plan consists of a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility. The workout instructions and pace are easy to follow to make sure you perform each exercise correctly and in time.

Fitness Studio Exercise Videos – NHS
Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories. These workouts have been created by fitness experts and range from 10 to 45 minutes. You will also find workouts suitable for new mums such as postnatal yoga, or health problems such as pilates for back pain.

Walking routes on Trust sites

St Nicholas Hospital – blue
St Nicholas Hospital – yellow
St George’s Park – yellow
Hopewood Park – blue
Hopewood Park – yellow
Walkergate Park

Services in your area

In this section you will find links to physical activity and exercise services in your area:

Online

  • Active10 App
    Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise? This app is designed to quickly and simply help you do more brisk walking in bursts of 10 minutes, known as Active 10s. It’s easier than you think to fit into your day with the Active 10 walking tracker app! You can download the app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App
  • Change4Life
    Adult, children and healthy eating advice for the general population
  • Couch to 5k App
    Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit. NHS Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks. You can download the app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App
  • Down’s Syndrome Association Healthy Living App
    This app has been designed to help people with Down’s Syndrome and their parents or carers to make positive changes to their lifestyle through healthier eating and activity tracking. You can download the app by clicking on the relevant links:
    Android App
    Apple App
  • NHS One You: Ways to Lose Weight – Find resources such as the NHS adult weight loss plan created in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association. Also information on calculating your BMI, chatting to your GP and more.
  • This Girl Can – Ways to Get Active
    This Girl Can believes that there’s no right way to get active – if it gets your heart rate up it counts. And they want more women to find what’s right for them. Browse through their collection of activities to find out more about each one and how to get involved.
  • We Are Undefeatable – Ways to Move
    Website with information for when you’re managing a long term health condition, being active is about finding what works for you and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are many, many ways to be active, including some that people may not realise actually count.
  • NHS Strength & Flex Exercise Plan
    This 5-week plan consists of a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility. The workout instructions and pace are easy to follow to make sure you perform each exercise correctly and in time.
  • NHS Fitness Studio Exercise Videos
    Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories. These workouts have been created by fitness experts and range from 10 to 45 minutes. You will also find workouts suitable for new mums such as postnatal yoga, or health problems such as pilates for back pain.

All areas

  • Age UK – Exercise and Physical Activity Classes
    Various exercise and physical activity opportunities.
  • Exercise Move Dance UK
    Find a dance class near to you.
  • Parkrun UK
    Free, weekly 5km runs open to everyone. Search on the map to find a Parkrun event near you.
  • Swimming Pool Finder
    Find your local swimming pool or club. Swim England approved swimming lessons, aquatics clubs, sessions and more.
  • Ramblers Association
    National network of health walk schemes offering free short walks over easy terrain led by trained walk leaders.
  • RunTogether
    Fun, friendly, supportive and inclusive running opportunities for everyone: whatever your ability or time availability. Use the postcode or town search tool to find a group near you.
  • Sustrans
    Directory of cycling routes in the UK.
  • Walking for Health
    Search by postcode, town or region for a health walk group near you.

Allerdale

  • Active Cumbria
    Search on an interactive map to find sports and physical activity clubs and sessions near you in Cumbria.
  • Cumbrian Girls Can
    A community led initiative to bring the ‘This Girl Can’ attitude to Cumbria. Celebrating Cumbrian women of all abilities, shapes and sizes as they get active and do their thing.
  • Grow West Green Gym
    The Green Gym encourages people to improve their physical and mental health through participation in conservation or horticultural activities and is suitable for people of all levels and abilities. Ideal for anyone new to exercise, or those with existing medical conditions that would benefit from support to increase their physical activity. For further information call 01900 67777.

Carlisle

  • Active Cumbria
    Search on an interactive map to find sports and physical activity clubs and sessions near you in Cumbria.
  • Cumbrian Girls Can
    A community led initiative to bring the ‘This Girl Can’ attitude to Cumbria. Celebrating Cumbrian women of all abilities, shapes and sizes as they get active and do their thing.

Copeland

  • Active Cumbria
    Search on an interactive map to find sports and physical activity clubs and sessions near you in Cumbria.
  • Cumbrian Girls Can
    A community led initiative to bring the ‘This Girl Can’ attitude to Cumbria. Celebrating Cumbrian women of all abilities, shapes and sizes as they get active and do their thing.

Eden

  • Active Cumbria
    Search on an interactive map to find sports and physical activity clubs and sessions near you in Cumbria.
  • Cumbrian Girls Can
    A community led initiative to bring the ‘This Girl Can’ attitude to Cumbria. Celebrating Cumbrian women of all abilities, shapes and sizes as they get active and do their thing.

Gateshead

  • Go Gateshead – Swimming
    A choice of 12 swimming pools, a water slide, weekly Aquafit classes, as well as swimming lessons for babies, children and adults.
  • Go Gateshead – Walking
    Weekly organised walks around some of Gateshead’s most scenic parks, urban areas and heritage sites. Each walk is led by a volunteer walk leader and lasts between 10 and 90 minutes.
  • Go Gateshead
    Home to five state-of-the-art gyms, 12 swimming pools, two athletics tracks, over 200 weekly fitness classes, climbing, soft play and surfing.
  • MIND – Peer Run Physical Activity Group
    Group for adults living in Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, or Northumberland who would like to participate in gentle, fun activities and improve the effects of mild/moderate mental and physical health issues.
  • Our Gateshead
    Gateshead’s community website with news, events and regular activities posted by over 1000 groups and organisations working in Gateshead. Activities include cycling, walking groups, yoga, line dancing etc.

Newcastle

North Tyneside

  • Active North Tyneside 
    Active North Tyneside will help you get active and feel the benefits of living a longer and healthier life. The aim of Active North Tyneside is to get the residents of North Tyneside to move more and live more by being physically active everyday.
  • Active North Tyneside – Buggy Bootcamp
    Postnatal exercise sessions are ideal for new mums/parents/carers to exercise with their baby. The sessions provide an ideal opportunity to socialise and meet new friends during and after the session. You don’t need to book, just turn up on the day.
  • Active North Tyneside – Health Walks
    Explore North Tyneside’s scenery and improve your fitness with one of Active North Tyneside’s walking groups. If you are interested in any of the walks listed on the website, you can self-refer by calling the contact person for that particular walk. For any further information contact 0191 643 7441. GP referrals can be made via Healthy Hearts.
  • Active North Tyneside – Healthy4Life
    Free family healthy lifestyle programme to help children and families make positive lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight. Evening and day time sessions are available Monday-Friday. Clubs run weekly after school for 8-10 weeks across North Tyneside. Children will take part in fun sports and activity sessions. Families will learn about healthy eating and how to make healthier choices through cookery sessions and food tasting. If you would like to know more call 0191 643 7454 or email CHAT@northtyneside.gov.uk
  • Active North Tyneside – Run For Fun
    10-week beginners programme aimed at people with no previous running experience; aim to have you running at least 3 miles after just 10-weeks. A friendly qualified member of the team will be there to encourage you from your first step through to the end. Sessions are for North Tyneside residents and are free; limited places so booking is essential.
  • Active North Tyneside – Weight Worries
    A 12-week programme to help you lose weight, get healthy, exercise correctly and get your BMI down. The programme is exclusive to North Tyneside resident adults with a BMI of 25 to 35. You can self-refer to this programme; call 0191 643 7171 for information.
  • Buggy Fit
    Postnatal exercise led by experts in the field of postnatal exercise. You can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, via the contact details on the website.
  • Sport North Tyneside
    Sport North Tyneside can help you get involved in sport in many different ways.
    You can find out which sport is for you at our taster sessions, make friends by joining a sports club or find voluntary opportunities near you.
  • Sport North Tyneside – Good Youth Move
    Designed for young people age 14-17 years who are worried about their weight. A free 10-week gym programme where they will have access to gyms as well as getting nutritional advice and an exercise programme. If you would like to know more call 0191 643 7454 or email CHAT@northtyneside.gov.uk

 

Northumberland

  • Active Northumberland – Exercise Referral Scheme
    If you have a medical condition, physical or mental, and want to become more active and lead a healthier lifestyle, this scheme can help you. The leisure centre team will offer you support and encouragement over a period of 12 weeks. You can be referred through your GP.
  • Active Northumberland – Health Walks
    Explore Northumberland’s scenery and improve your fitness with one of Active Northumberland’s walking groups.
  • Active Northumberland – Swimming – Learn to swim, take part in a pool fitness class or bring the family to a fun session. You can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, via the contact details on the website.
  • Buggy Fit
    Postnatal exercise led by experts in the field of postnatal exercise. You can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, via the contact details on the website.
  • Northumberland Integrated Wellbeing Service – Health Trainers
    Health trainers can work with you on one-to-one basis or in a group to support you come up with a plan of action to help you achieve your health goals. If you live in Northumberland and are over 16 you can use this service for up to 12 weeks. Appointments can be made near to where you live or work. You can self-refer, or be referred by your GP, nurse, or other health professional, by calling 01670 623840.
  • Talking Matters Northumberland – Being Active Matters
    If you live in the North or West of Northumberland and are interested in improving your mental wellbeing by becoming more physically active this service can support you. The service will find a ‘buddy’ to join you at a physical activity class or group; they will offer encouragement and help you gain confidence to continue on your own. You can self-refer or be referred by your GP or another health professional; call 0300 303 0700 or email info@tmnorthumberland.org.uk.
  • Talking Matters Northumberland – Being Active Matters Newsletter – September 2020 
    Tips for staying active and informed.
  • These Girls Can Run
    Award winning ladies beginner running group, open to everyone regardless of fitness level or previous running experience. You can self-refer, or be referred by a health professional, via the contact details on the website.

 

South Tyneside

  • South Tyneside – Health Walks
    Explore South Tyneside’s scenery and improve your fitness with one of the organised group walks available throughout South Tyneside. For days and times as well as how to get involved, see the Health Walk Timetable
  • South Tyneside Council – Healthy Lives Offer
    Healthy Lives activity classes are entry level classes aimed at people who are new to exercise and that have one or more long term conditions. The sessions are delivered by fully qualified and experienced instructors and are available at a number of venues across South Tyneside. For further information see the Healthy Lives Timetable or call 0191 424 7848.
  • South Tyneside Council – The Green Gym
    The Green Gym encourages people to improve their physical and mental health through participation in conservation or horticultural activities and is suitable for people of all levels and abilities. Ideal for anyone new to exercise, or those with existing medical conditions that would benefit from support to increase their physical activity. For further information see the Green Gym Prospectus or call 0191 428 1144.

Sunderland

  • Houghton Sports Centre and Wellness Centre
    The sports hall provides a great range of indoor and outdoor activities including gymnastics, basketball, badminton and martial arts facilities. A dance studio hosts a range of group fitness classes, meeting rooms, indoor bowls and a skate park. There’s also an ultra-modern gym that features all the latest equipment and outdoor 3G pitch can be used for rugby, football and athletics.
  • Lifestyle Activity and Food Programme
    The programme is for families and children aged 5-15 years old who have been identified as being overweight. Self-referral and via school weight and measure programme. Call 0191 561 4686 for more information.
  • MAN v FAT Football Programme
    A football league only for guys who want to lose weight. Every player is in the same situation and wants the same thing – to enjoy football, lose weight and get healthier. Uniquely, the league is decided not just on points won, but pounds lost. We give support to every player with unique resources, inspiration and 24/7 support to help you lose weight, get fitter and enjoy the beautiful game. For more information call 0191 551 5305.
  • Silksworth Sports Complex
    A variety of activities are available, including a fully-equipped athletics track as well as outdoor artificial football pitches. Home to the North East’s premiere ski facility with lessons run by highly qualified instructors.
  • Sunderland Recovery College
    A 12-week gym course with low impact, low level supervised exercise classes. The Wellness Gym has a relaxed atmosphere where people can take part in activities in a safe and friendly environment. For more information call 0191 553 2255.
  • Sunderland’s Lifestyle, Activity and Food Programme
    This free 8-week programme is for families of children aged 5-15 who have been identified as overweight, live in Sunderland and registered with a Sunderland GP. Referral via school nurse, GP, other health professionals or by self; referral form available here. For more information call 0191 561 4691.

 

Useful websites and apps

In this section you will find links to useful physical activity websites and apps:

  • Active10 App – Did you know that walking briskly for just 10 continuous minutes counts as exercise? It’s easier than you think to fit into your day with the Active 10 walking tracker app!
  • Change4Life – Adult, children and healthy eating advice for the general population
  • Couch to 5k AppTaking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit. NHS Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks.
  • Down’s Syndrome Association Healthy Living App – This app has been designed to help people with Down’s Syndrome and their parents or carers to make positive changes to their lifestyle through healthier eating and activity tracking.
  • Kids Health – Advice and information for kids, teens, parents and educators.
  • NHS BMI Calculator – Use this calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you’re a healthy weight. Or you can use it to check your child’s BMI.
  • NHS One You: Ways to Lose Weight – Find resources such as the NHS adult weight loss plan created in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association. Also information on calculating your BMI, chatting to your GP and more.
  • What’s Your Heart Age? – A quick, easy tool from British Heart Foundation to calculate your heart age based on your lifestyle choices.