Physical activity to keep you healthy
- Get Active
- Exercise on referral
- Young at Heart
- Street Tag
- Health walks
- Eat Well, Live Well, Feel Good (ELF)
- Exercise videos to do at home
- Local sports clubs
No matter how old you are, introducing regular physical activity into your daily life can improve your overall health, ease stress and improve sleep!
The NHS recommends that adults and older people should aim to do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise
If you are new to exercising, the NHS choices website has a digital Fitness Studio with some helpful instructor led videos, covering aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates, and yoga.
The NHS website also has a BMI (body mass index) calculator which can help you find out if you're a healthy weight. You can also use it to check your child's BMI.
Don't forget to always consult your GP or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise or diet programme.
Other activities available:
Keeping active during lockdown (PDF, 336KB)
Exercise on referral
Our Exercise on referral programme is for people aged 18 and over, living in Barking and Dagenham and who have one of the following conditions:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of lung diseases)
- diabetes type I or II controlled
- hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
- mild to moderate depression
- rheumatoid arthritis
- stress or anxiety
Throughout the 12 week programme, you'll work closely with one of our lifestyle coaches on increasing your physical activity levels, making some lifestyle changes and improving your health.
Once you have finished the programme you will be eligible for a discounted leisure centre membership to help continue with your healthy lifestyle journey.
Referrals to the Exercise on referral Programme are made by GP’s and other Health Practitioners
Young at Heart
Our Young at Heart programme for Barking and Dagenham residents over the age of 60, to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
Sessions are available seven days a week at a variety of times and include:
- zumba gold
- line dancing
- tai chi
- arts and craft
For £52 per year residents can access a range of social and active sessions across the borough in leisure centres and Active Age centres including:
- May and Bakers Sports Club
- Park Centre
- Valence Library
- Barking Learning Centre
- Wantz Community Centre
- Chadwell Heath Community Centre
- Becontree Heath Leisure Centre (Gym Swim & Soft Play, Everyone Active)
- Abbey Leisure Centre (Gym, Swim & Fitness Classes, Everyone Active)
Non residents can also become members to the community programme (excluding leisure centre access) for more information complete the sign up form
You could also participate in Street Tag which allows residents to record their distance walked, ran or cycled by scanning virtual tags with their smartphone at various locations.
Work as a team or on your own to cover the miles and miles across the borough walking to school and work or going to the park as a family, gaining points along the way, climbing up the leaderboard to win prizes.
You can also receive bonus points by borrowing a book from one of the boroughs libraries, or by visiting installations during different arts festivals throughout the year.
Walking is a great first step for people of all ages who do little or no exercise and who want to be more physically active. It is low cost and doesn’t require any special clothes or equipment.
Regular walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Additionally, it strengthens your bones and muscles, helps you to burn calories and can help to reduce stress.
Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and to stay motivated. Our programmes will be designed to help you to gradually walk faster and to go further over time. We will help you to keep track of your progress with a walking journal; recording the date, time, and distance to help you get the maximum health benefits.
A new programme of regular walks will be coming this year when we are able to get out and about more in groups – watch this space for more information.
Eat Well, Live Well, Feel Good (ELF)
For adults living in Barking and Dagenham with a learning disability, we have Eat Well, Live Well and Feel Great (ELF), which aims to increase physical health and wellbeing through physical activity and healthy eating sessions.
This service aims to help people with learning disability to:
- achieve a sustainable weight loss
- reduce further weight gain
- get into a regular healthy eating pattern
- learn portion control and reduce overeating
- become more physically active
- learn new long-term healthy lifestyle skills
Healthy Lifestyles Team
Tel: 020 8724 8018
By choosing to cycle some of your local journeys to school, work, or the shops, you can easily integrate gentle exercise into your daily routine.
The council offers free cycling training to anyone who lives, works or studies in the borough.
Exercise videos to do at home
Coaches from the Healthy Lifestyle Team have made some videos of exercises and movements that can be done from the comfort of your own home:
- Exercise for bone strength and improving mobility
- Strengthening bone and increasing mobility exercises
- Strengthening bone and improving mobility
- Exercise for Neuromuscular Conditions
- Chair based exercise
- Chair based exercise 2
- Chair based Kick Boxing
- Stretch and tone
- Qigong exercises
- HIIT training
- Tai Chi
- Self defence
- 5 minute HIIT workout session 1
- 5 minute HIIT workout session
Local sports clubs
There are a number of clubs that residents from Barking and Dagenham can join:
- Barking and Dagenham aquatics
- Barking and Dagenham canoe club
- Barking cricket club
- Barking indoor bowls club
- Barking road runners
- Barking rugby club
- Dagenham 88 runners
- Dagenham rugby club
- East London JKA karate
- Goresbrook cricket club
- M & B rugby club
- Park run
- Romford hockey club
- St Chads bowls club