'Gentle' activities

'Gentle' activities

Braintree District, Castlepoint Borough, Epping Forest District, Harlow District, Maldon District, Rochford District, Tendring District, Uttlesford District
Here are some popular low-impact activities,  ideal if you’re not very active but want to improve your health, lift your mood and remain independent.
Cycling for health

Cycling is a great activity that can help you get active and improve your health. Cycling is a low impact activity so it can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone. Find out more about weekly gentle rides near you.

AgeConcern events and activities for people over the age of 60 

From Knit and Natter, Friday coffee mornings to Senior’s U, there is something to keep you busy every week around the Colchester area!

Activities for 50+ at leisure centres in the Braintree district

Fusion Lifestyle are pleased to be able to provide a comprehensive programme of ‘agewell’ activities for older residents across four sites in the Braintree District.The activities on offer include a range of studio classes, swimming sessions and walking football.


If you’re looking for gentle exercise in the fresh air and the opportunity to make new friends in an relaxed environment, give bowls a try.
Witham bowls Club

Keep Moving classes for people with long term conditions

Fitness classes in Braintree and Maldon run by Kirsty Beckwith and Molly Kelleher for people with chronic health conditions including but not limited to arthritis, COPD, cancer, neuropathic conditions.

In the Maldon area

The Four Ts initiative is a partnership supported by Maldon District Council, Maldon and District Community Voluntary Service and Essex County Council. The purpose is to provide publicity and support for volunteers who wish to run, or are running, informal meetings for older and more rurally isolated people to socialise and make friends throughout the villages of Tollesbury, Tolleshunt Knights, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, and Tolleshunt Major.

  • Gentle cardio classes-low impact cardiovascular exercise, gentle strength building exercise for arms, legs, trunks, and gentle stretching
  • Pilates for back pain– exercising and strengthening the muscles of the back and specifically the core
  • Paracise– exercise for the not so young and not so able – non-impact, no jumping or floor work so it’s gentle on the joints
  • Happy Hearts exercises in the Maldon district –  Happy Hearts Exercises are clubs in the Maldon district that offer circuits of functional exercises for people over 50.
Dementia friendly activities

Activities such as swimming, walks, badminton and tea dances which offer support for people living with dementia and their carers. They allow you to continue doing something you love, or even give you the chance to try something new, in a safe and supportive environment.

Museum movers in Epping 

Museum Movers are fun, informal dance sessions, designed to promote health, wellbeing and freedom of movement. Find out more where and when they run.

Bedford House in Buckhurst Hill

Bedford House is one of the largest self-supporting, independent providers of adult education in Essex, they provide a wide range of art, crafts, leisure, health and wellbeing activities to choose from.

Let’s keep moving

Let’s Keep Moving is a friendly and welcoming group for older adults looking to keep active, motivated and healthy. See the groups in Essex.

Active life +50 club 

A programme of activities (badminton, table tennis, workout class and swimming) for those over 50 wishing to stay fit and active!

Forever active in the Rochford district

A range of sporting, social and leisure pursuits which includes everything from badminton to yoga, dancing to table tennis and, the ever popular bowls and day trips. There are over 60 activity sessions every week including gym training, bowls, dance and yoga – all at affordable prices. Equipment and tuition is included for most of these activities at no extra charge.

Get active classes  in the Rochford district

Low impact fitness sessions perfect for people who want a friendly and social class to help them improve their wellbeing. These sessions are great whatever your age, ability and whether you have not exercised for a while or exercise regularly.

Chair -based exercises 

Chair-based exercises in the Braintree district from East Light Community Housing

Farleigh Hospice’s seated and relaxation exercise group– weekly 1 hour session can help improve flexibility, strength and reduce stress. The gentle series of exercises will enable individuals of most abilities to gain some benefit whilst enjoying the group atmosphere and support.

Suffering from arthritis?Arthritis Action launched a series of online chair-based  exercises developed with the aim of helping those with hip, knee or spinal osteoarthritis more mobile and active.

Music and movement sessions

Check out the Dance Network Association website for dance sessions across Essex for older adults from ‘Dancing with Parkinsons’ to the ‘Generation Dance and Movement programme’.

Gentle years yoga

Specifically for adults of all abilities, who wish to increase their flexibility, strength, spiritual awareness, and mental clarity. They are taking place every week in Wethersfield, Stebbing and Great Dunmow. See dates and locations.

Tai chi

Try taichi-  Taoist Tai Chi arts are specifically designed to improve health, the movements exercise the whole physiology; including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and internal organs.

Activities at sheltered/day care centres

Check out this list of activities in the Uttlesford area

Activities include afternoon tea, seated exercise, coffee morning, bingo, board games, knit and natter etc. held in the several sheltered sites in Uttlesford. For more information please call: 01799 510585 or email: lfish@uttlesford.gov.uk

Leah Manning Centre in the Harlow area – a day care centre for older people, providing a range of health and wellbeing activities. Download their brochure to see what activities they have each week.

LEAP scheme

Designed to help people lead a healthier life, Colchester Leisure World run LEAP: a scheme designed specifically for those with long term conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and back/joint problems.

Strength and balance classes

Classes available in the Epping Forest district, to improve your balance and co-ordination, increase your strength, mobility and flexibility, improve your posture and stamina. See strength and balance PDF flyer for more details.

Walk and Talk 4 men

A support group for men and their mental health. They get together a couple of times a month and have a stroll around a country park whilst having a chat in a safe place without judgement! It gives men the opportunity to offload, get things off our chest and talk about how we are feeling rather than bottling it up and suffering in silence.

Walking cricket

Walking cricket and nifty fifty cricket sessions indoors, in Chelmsford, organised by Essex Active 50.

Walking hockey

Sessions at Braintree Hockey Club aimed at people who for a variety of reasons cannot run around to play the game.

Walking netball 

Walking Netball is a slowed down version of the game of netball, designed for anyone looking to exercise in a relaxed, supportive and friendly environment. Walking Netball is a game for all ages and abilities and every session starts with a gentle warm up. See weekly activities available around Essex:

Walking football 

Walking football is a slow-paced version of the beautiful game. If you thought your footballing days were over, think again because walking football is here!

University of the third age

The University of the Third Age is a unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its many U3As, life-enhancing and life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for their own rewards: the sheer joy of discovery!

Members share their skills and life experiences: the learners teach and the teachers learn, and there is no distinction between them.

The annual membership fee is from £10-17 depending on the U3A you choose.

If you would like to find out more call:
020 8466 6139 – National number or head to their national website.

Livewell Partners