We all know that staying active and taking enough exercise is good for us - both physically and mentally. Finding a type of activity that is enjoyable, affordable and fits in with our abilities is one way of helping us keep active and healthy.
The Active Kent website includes tips and information, not just on becoming more active, but on making successful lifestyle changes that will benefit you. Find out more about:
- Exercise referral schemes
- Health trainers
A Better Medway provides local support and advice to help Medway residents and workers lead healthier, longer lives. Through getting advice, managing stress and eating more healthily, this site has all you need for a healthier lifestyle.
Click here for a number of sports centres in Medway to help you keep fit and well.
Activmob is a scheme for everyone. It is all about making physical activity part of everyday life. Anyone can get together a group of friends, family or colleagues and start an 'activmob' providing the activity improves wellbeing. The Activmob website can help you find mobs that you can join in your area, and you can even use it to make suggestions for mobs you'd like to see running - you never know someone may be thinking the same thing and start one up. It's free to register as an activmob and to use the system.
Change4Life is a nationwide campaign by the Department of Health to help families keep active and eat well. Look at the Change4Life website to find out how you can receive helpful information, games, tools, tips and a free welcome pack. You can also search for what is happening in your local community.
Exercise referral scheme – Eastern and Coastal Kent
The Exercise Referral Scheme is designed to initiate long term lifestyle changes by encouraging an increase in your physical activity levels. If you would like to take part in the scheme, ask your GP, practice nurse or other health professional to refer you.
For more information about this scheme in the Eastern and Coastal Kent area, call the exercise referral line on 0800 849 4000.
If you want to make changes to your lifestyle, you don’t need to go it alone. A health trainer can work with you to find ways to lead a healthier and happier life.
Health trainers are local people who have the time to spend with you, listen and provide a friendly, free, confidential service. Contact with a health trainer could be just the thing you need to get started.
Find out about health trainers where you live:
Eastern and Coastal Kent
Tel: 0800 849 4000
Tel: 01622 723824
Text: 07944 463803
Clubs and groups in Kent & Medway
There are clubs and groups for almost every interest and hobby. Kent Libraries maintains a comprehensive database of clubs, societies and community groups across Kent and Medway. Most local councils also maintain directories of community groups. If they don’t they have other information about local events, groups and activities. Some groups appear on more than one database. It might be worth checking the information held by your local council in addition to the Kent-wide directory maintained by Kent Libraries.
MOLE (Medway organisations list for everyone) is a Medway libraries online list of clubs, societies and organisations including places of worship. MOLE lists local sports clubs and hobby groups in the local area.
Cycling appeals to people of all ages. It can be easier on your joints than running or high-impact sports activities – and if you use your bike to get around, it can even save you money!
Explore Kent on the Kent County Council website can help you get started with information about buying and looking after your bike, cycle clubs and cycle safety. You can browse all cycle routes and download the free guide ‘Explore Kent by Bike’.
Sustrans, the charity which promotes cycling across the UK, says there is no better way to explore the delights of Kent than by bicycle. To help you do just this, the Sustrans website has free cycle maps to download and information on Kent cycle routes.
Whether you fancy belly dancing or ballroom, salsa or ceroc, dancing can be a great way to keep active – and have some fun!
Dancing in the UK
Dancing in the UK holds a database of dancing schools across Kent.
Singing exercises your heart and lungs. Singing with others is great fun and is a good way to make friends.
Sidney De Haan Research Centre
Across Eastern and Coastal Kent, singing groups meet weekly. People get together to sing traditional and popular songs with a skilled group leader. The groups are run by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre which is undertaking research on singing for wellbeing and health. All singing abilities are welcome – even if you think you can’t sing! To find your local group and for more information contact:
Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health University Centre Folkestone, Mill Bay, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1JG
Tel: 01303 220870
Making Music South East
Making Music exists to help voluntary music-making flourish in the UK. Making Music South East supports music-making organisations in South East England. It has a directory of music groups, singing groups and choirs to help you find a singing or music group near you.
Sing for your life
Sing For Your Life is a registered charity which aims to improve quality of life, health and wellbeing for older people through participation in musical activities.
Its runs Silver Song Clubs across Kent which provide a regular session of social and community music making for older people. If you would like to join a club or are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact:
Sing For Your Life Shepway Business Centre, Shearway Business Park, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 4RH
Tel: 01303 298546 / 298549
Swimming can be a wonderful way of exercising and relaxing. It can help you de-stress and make you feel good.
Your Yellow Pages directory lists local swimming pools and leisure centres. Yell.com, the Yellow Pages online, has a search facility to help you find a swimming pool near you.
There are a number of sports centres that offer free swimming for under 11s and over 60s. Click here to find your nearest centre in Medway
Walking can make you feel good, give you more energy, reduce stress and help you sleep better. It can keep your heart 'strong' and reduce blood pressure. All across Kent, people are getting together to go walking. Walking in a group is a great way to start walking and to stay motivated. You’ll make friends and discover new places to walk in your neighbourhood whilst improving your health and wellbeing at the same time.
Plan your walk
Explore Kent can help you plan your own walk – whether you want something easy and accessible, or fancy trying something more challenging. You can browse or search their list of walks, use the interactive map to create your own route, download maps and other information or find out more about guided walks.
Walking in Kent is a website dedicated to providing people with the information they need to enjoy walking in the county. It includes a directory of walking groups.
Natural England has an easy-to-use walk finder which provides information about health walks where you live. Just put in your postcode and it will do the rest.
Health walks in Eastern and Coastal Kent
HealthWalks are free, short, volunteer-led, local walks. They are generally between 40-90 minutes and leave from accessible venues such as libraries and leisure centres. Most HealthWalks finish with refreshments and a chat. Why not find out about health walks where you live?
Tel: 0800 849 4000