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Physical activity to keep you healthy

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:

  • cancer
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of lung diseases)
  • diabetes type I or II controlled
  • hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
  • hypertension
  • mild to moderate depression
  • osteoporosis
  • 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 (PDF, 108KB) for Barking and Dagenham residents over the age of 60, to improve mental and physical wellbeing. 

Sessions are available at a variety of times in community settings and include:

  • zumba gold
  • bingo
  • line dancing
  • tai chi
  • arts and craft
  • yoga


Barking Learning Centre

Chadwell Heath Community Centre

Park Centre

May and Bakers Sports Club

Valence Library

Wantz Community Centre

For more information complete the sign up form

Sign up for our programme

For £52 per year residents can access the leisure centres Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm and all weekend.

Street Tag

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.

Health walks

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.


Find out more information about walks in the borough (PDF, 172KB)

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

Contact us

Healthy Lifestyles Team
Tel: 020 8724 8018
Email: healthy.lifestyles@lbbd.gov.uk


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.

Cycling in the borough