Last updated on 1 Apr 2015

There are lots of activities, groups and classes in Newcastle that offer fun ways to be more active, get out and about, meet new people and keep fit.  

You can find out more about the health benefits of taking exercise in our section on Keeping physically active.  

It may be worthwhile getting an Active Newcastle Card  which is a discount card that can give you savings at a wide range of leisure and sports facilities in Newcastle.

Chair-based exercises

You don’t have to move around much to take some kind of exercise. There are exercises that you can do while sitting down, or while standing up and holding on to a chair to help you. Chair-based exercise classes tend to be held in the community, for example in community centres, sheltered housing complexes and churches. Active Newcastle has more information on where classes are held in Newcastle.

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Climbing and bouldering is a great way to stay in shape. There are a few places where you can learn to climb or practice your climbing indoors in Newcastle such as 

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If you have enjoyed competitive sport in the past but now find games like tennis too physically taxing, croquet could be the game for you. There are many health benefits for older players; including gentle physical exercise, intellectual stimulation and warm sociability. It can also be played competitively or purely for pleasure.

Tyneside Croquet Club actively encourages new members. You can go along to try the game out at venues such as the old bowling greens in Exhibition Park and Nuns Moor Park. 

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You can cycle by yourself or as with others as part of a group. As a group exercise, cycling encourages team building and leadership skills.

For information on cycling groups in Newcastle, visit the Over 50s section on The following organisations may also be of interest;

Bikeright provide free cycle training for people over 16 who live, work or study in Newcastle. Training is suitable for all, from complete beginners learning to ride to more experienced cyclists who would like to brush up their skills and confidence to ride on roads. 

WATbike organise regular guided bike rides, support and training for all abilities across the North East. They transport bikes and riders to various locations to offer longer bike rides such as Edinburgh and John O’Groats. Guided rides are usually on evenings or weekends. There's a small charge for transportation and support. 

Breeze Newcastle offers fun and free bike rides to women over the age of 18. 

The Breeze Network can help you find a bike to ride, get some basic training and join other women who just want to enjoy a safe, local bike ride. There are opportunities to volunteer to encourage other women to get back on a bike. 

Newcastle City Council Cycling have online advice and news on cycling in Newcastle including cycle routes and planning your journey. 

Recyke y'bike refurbish and sell bikes at a low cost. They offer training on bike maintenance and bike services for a small fee. You can donate your old bike to be refurbished and sold on to help the charity or learn to fix it yourself in their workshop. It is a community project supporting peopel to access bikes and training including long-term unemployed people, those who have been homeless, and those with mental health problems.

Sustrans run the Silver Cyclists group with free guided bike rides for over 50's. They also offer training to help you to use your bike safely.  They help people think about and change the travel choices they make and work to create better walking and cycling links, including the National Cycle Network, they're providing the space to make sure sustainable travel is not just a choice: it's the most obvious and convenient option. Their new Traffic-Free Cycle Rides book is available from their online shop.

Sustrans run the Bike Garden in Nuns Moor Park, a new space offering volunteer opportunities & training, weekly Dr Bike sessions for all local residents (3pm – 7pm every Wednesday) with led walks and rides.

The Cycle Hub is a cycling cafe and bike shop where you can stop for repairs, maintenance and equipment. They host a range of activities from group rides, cycle classes and refresher training to shows and events. 

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Anyone can enjoy dancing, regardless of age, shape, size, or whether or not you have danced before. Usually, you don’t need any special equipment to be able to dance. You can dance as part of a group, or alone, and in a variety of places. The social side of dancing can reduce isolation and help you to build your confidence and self-esteem. The following organisations may also be of interest;

Active Newcastle for more information on dance sessions in Newcastle. 

Age UK Newcastle run several different dance classes across the City.  

Chapel House and District Community Association (CHADCA) offer a range of dance classes including Irish and Line.

Dance City is expanding its programme for older people from September 2014. You can take part in classes, keep fit, learn new skills, watch performances and talk about dance. Classes include:

  • Tap Dancing - for intermediate/advanced tappers.
  • Cuban Salsa -  Learn to salsa the Cuban way including footwork, rhythm/salsa beats and partner work. No partner required.
  • Ballet* -  New class created for the more mature body. Ballet targets core strength, flexibility, balance and alignment whilst challenging the mind through musicality and sequencing. This class is a wonderful way to stretch, learn, and engage your sense of expression through classical movement in a friendly and positive environment.
  • Pilates* - Holistic exercise which elongates, strengthens and restores the bodies balance. This is a core strength class using controlled contractions of the abdominal and lower back muscles.

Denton Youth and Community Project offer dance sessions for all ages such as line dancing. 

East End Pool and Library offer dance sessions for all ages such as line dancing. 

Heaton Community Centre offers a range of dance classes including Morris.

The Jenian School of Dancing have a variety of dance classes including ballroom, tango, salsacise and tea dances.

Newcastle Dance Centre has a programme of dance classes for all ages and abilities; whether you are a beginner, an accomplished professional, or just seeking extra enjoyment from dancing.

The Simonside Community Centre offers a range of dance classes including line and sequence dancing for adults and line modern and Latin dancing for children.

The Blackfriars Centre host  tea dances and dance classes including Ceroc.

Walbottle Village Institute runs dance sessions including tango and line.

Westerhope Community Association (The Tute) offer a range of dance classes including Sequence and Line.

Tea Dances take place across Newcastle. 

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Exercise Classes

Age UK Newcastle offer a weekly programme of opportunities across the city where you can look after yourself, get to know new people and stay connected in your community by joining a class. Contact Age UK Newcastle for times, prices and more information. Classes include

  • Dance 
  • Keep fit 
  • Tai Chi
  • Men's Keep Fit

West Denton Community Centre have a programme of exercise classes, including, Zumba and Metafit. Contact them for more details. 

Denton Burn Community Association offer a programme of exercise classes. 

Jesmond Pool offer a programme of exercise classes including Men's Keep Fit, yoga and swimming. 

Denton Burn Community Association offer a programme of exercise classes. 

Chapel House and District Community Association (CHADCA) offer a range of exercise classes including Kickboxing.

Heaton Community Centre offers a range of classes including Tai Chi and karate.

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Gentle Exercise - after illness

If you have long term medical conditions, or you've always thought that exercise wasn't for you, it can be almost impossible to think of ways you can exercise safely, comfortably and enjoyably.

HealthWORKS Newcastle Next Steps – exercise class: This class involves gentle movement to music helping to gradually build up your fitness and your confidence. 

HealthWORKS Newcastle Exercise on Referral: Healthworks can work with you to organise a tailored made exercise programme suitable for you and your medical condition. They start slowly and help you to gradually build up your fitness and your confidence in the exercise equipment. You don't have to do anything that you don't want to or use equipment that you don't like and you won't be on your own in a room full of fitness fanatics. To get involved you will need to be referred to the scheme usually by your GP, Practice Nurse, health visitor or Physiotherapist. You can also download a referral form on their website.

Walkerville Community Centre offers gentle exercise classes.

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HealthWORKS Newcastle have 2 community facilities which you can ccess at a reduced rate.

The Simonside Community Centre has a fitness suite.

Leisure centres are available across Newcastle.

Active Newcastle Card allows you to access sports and leisure facilties across the city at a discounted rate.

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Green Gym

Groundwork run The Green Gym for adults who have an inactive lifestyle, feel lonely, or have mental or physical health problems. You can 'work out' in your local community through activities such as litter picking, woodland management and hedge pruning. Training and support is available so you can develop skills and confidence. This helps to make new friends, learn new skills, increase your fitness, to be healthier and happier. 

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Walking Football

Newcastle United Foundation - Community offer Free Walking Football sessions on Wednesdays 4.30 to 6pm. This low impact exercise is suitable for all abilities, as you can play at your own pace. The sessions take place at Complete Football, Newcastle Racecourse, NE3 5PH. Please note the sessions are organised by Stephen Hutchinson, Community Health Trainer at Newcastle United Foundation.

Blue Flames Sporting Club run weekly Walking Football sessions for over 50's who enjoy football but perhaps haven’t played for some years. Sessions cost £3 and take place on Tuesdays at 1pm.

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New Age Kurling

Search Project is currently running New Age Kurling sessions. New Age Kurling is a form of curling that can be played on any flat indoor surface. It is accessible, fun and can be played by people of all abilities, including wheelchair users.

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Nordic Walking

Groundwork offer free Nordic Walking Sessions from Ouseburn Farm, Mondays 10am. The walks will last no longer then 1 hour and are great for getting/keeping fit, losing weight or just enjoying a nice walk with new friends. They supply the poles, just bring yourself and some comfortable walking shoes. 

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Pilates combines western and eastern philosophies; teaching body awareness and breathing techniques, as well as promoting strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination.

Active Newcastle for more information on  pilates sessions in Newcastle. See their Over 50s section 

Body Control Pilates has a network of qualified teachers who work to a strict Code of Practice governing their teaching standards and professional ethics. Visit their website to look for a qualified teacher close to you. 

East End Pool and Library offers pilates classes.

Dance City is expanding its programme for older people from September 2014 and offers Pilates classes. 

Walbottle Village Institute runs pilates classes.

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Staying Steady

HealthWORKS Newcastle runs the Staying Steady programme. It is for anyone who is worried about their balance OR is afraid of falling OR has had a fall OR has osteoporosis. It will help to improve your balance to reduce the risk of you falling. Taking part will help you to keep mobile and to be more able to do the things you want. The classes will also give you an opportunity to make new friends and have fun. Download a self-referral form from the HealthWORKS Newcastle website.

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Leisure centres and swimming pools section on Information Now has more information about  activities or classes at your local swimming pool or leisure centre.

Swim NE provide adult swimming lessons in various swimming pools in Newcastle.

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Tai Chi

Tai Chi originates from China and is a form of martial art which gently exercises the body, strengthens muscles, increases flexibility and improves balance. It is a great way of relaxing the mind and body, helping to combat the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Age UK Newcastle run Tai Chi classes in Community Venues in Newcastle. 

Active Newcastle has more information on tai chi sessions in Newcastle. 

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Target Golf

Rookie Sports offers Target Golf. It is suitable for everyone, including older people, people with sensory impairments, and people in wheelchairs. It's a great way to meet new people and to get some gentle exercise. 

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Walking is an ideal way to get some fresh air. You can walk by yourself, or you can join others on an organised walk. There are some local organisations that provide support for walking activities, some of which are mentioned below.

Active Newcastle has information on organised walking groups in Newcastle.

Live Well Walks are a part of Newcastle City Councils' Exercise Referral Scheme. The walks are weekly from various starting places in and around the west of the city and on the quayside. They are short walks led by qualified instructors. To take part in these walks you must be referred by your GP and have a medical condition where walking is known to be beneficial to your particular condition.

Newcastle City Guides take people on guided tours around landmarks in Newcastle. You can join them on a range of public walking tours from May to September. All of the guides are trained volunteers. There are also a number of Green Badge Guides who are self-employed accredited tour guides who have completed a course in all aspects of tourist guiding. They are able to research and customise tours for everyone from conference visitors to local community groups.

Newcastle & District CHA HF Rambling Club has been around since 1902. They organise 3 led walks a week and weekends away.

Newcastle Ranger Service provides details of a number of self-led walks on countryside sites in Newcastle. Locations vary from areas of ancient woodland to country parks developed on reclaimed land. Ranger-led walks are also available by request. 

Newcastle U3A - University of the Third Age has several walking groups, undertaking coastal strolls, nature walks and rambles. Members walk at a steady pace, giving plenty of time to look around and chat.

Ouseburn Trust have developed several heritage walks around the Ouseburn Valley. They also have a programme of organised walks and talks.

Search Project organises several different walking groups. You can download free Heritage walking trails for the West end of Newcastle from their website.

Walkerville Community Centre has a walking group. encourages people to walk more by providing tools, making it clear how long a walk may take, what the benefits are, as well as providing maps and directions.

Walk4Life enables you to create short walks near where you live, to find way-marked miles, or track your progress. It also lists free walking events.

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Yoga originated in India and combines exercise with posture, breathing and relaxation techniques. There are many different types of yoga.

Active Newcastle has information on yoga sessions in Newcastle

British Wheel of Yoga is a registered charity and is the governing body for yoga in Great Britain. They have a nationwide network of qualified teachers and can help you to find a class in your local area. They promote yoga classes to the general public. 

HealthWORKS Newcastle Core Fusion – exercise class. A mix of Yoga, Pilates & callanentic moves that concentrate on working the core muscles, build stamina, strengthen, lengthen and stretch the body. You get out what you put in to the exercises and everyone works to their own level. It's suitable for any level of fitness and any age group.

HealthWORKS Newcastle Stretch and Relaxation at The Lemington Centre. This class blends Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi moves to stretch the muscles, work the spine, lubricate the joints, and strengthen the core, finished by guided relaxation to set you up for the day. A wonderful way to exercise and de-stress. Suitable for any level of fitness and any age group.

Chair Yoga runs on Mondays 11am-  12pm The Allen Room, Trinity Church, Gosforth High Street, Yoga can be a great way to build strength and balance. It's for beginners and people of all levels. Chairs are provided and wheelchairs can also be used. The building is fully accessible. The hour long class offers a gentle introduction to yoga with chair based exercise and stretches. It involves breath work, tapping and muscle activation exercises and a toe to head routine based around gentle activation, strengthening and mindfulness. You can also progress to standing yoga within the class as your confidence and strength develops. For more information or to book a place please visit Mindfulness Therapies. You can also pay as you go at the session.

Walbottle Village Institute runs yoga classes.

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Many Community Centres and local leisure centres offer Zumba classes including

West Denton Community Centre 

Gosforth Garden Village Association

Westerhope Community Association (The Tute)

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Other Useful Information

  • SpoGo includes information on a wide range of sports facilities. You can use their database to search for the nearest sports and leisure facilities to you, or to find a particular organisation.

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