Healthy weight and physical activity

Modern life can make it easy to eat and drink more than we should and move around less than we should, which often results in weight gain.

To lose weight we need to swap current bad habits to better ones. 

  • Choose diet and physical activity changes that you can make part of your daily routine, and stick to it for life.
  • Increasing physical activity is one of the most effective ways to improve your health and wellbeing. 
  • Even small increases in physical activity among those who are the least active can bring great health benefits. 

Ways to get active in South Tyneside

From our fantastic leisure facilities, award winning parks and generous coastline, to the opportunities available within our communities, there is something for everyone.

See below for ideas on how to get active in South Tyneside.

Leisure facilities

There are six leisure facilities in South Tyneside, where between them you can enjoy:

  • gym sessions
  • exercise classes 
  • swimming
  • sauna and steam rooms
  • water play, slides and bubble spa 
  • running track 
  • other sports facilities (e.g. badminton, basketball, football)

The leisure facilities include Hebburn Central, Haven Point, Temple Park Centre, Monkton Stadium, Jarrow Focus, and Jarrow Community Pool.

A range of leisure memberships are available to suit individual needs, including discounted memberships and corporate memberships. The memberships give access to all six facilities. Get Active cards also allow you to save money without committing to a membership. 

Find out more about leisure facilities and memberships.

Healthy Lives Offer  

Becoming more active can make you feel good about yourself and it can have a number of benefits for your health including helping to manage any long term conditions you may have such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and joint problems. It can also help to manage your weight and improve your mood.  

Our Healthy Lives activity classes are entry level classes aimed at people who are new to exercise and that have one or more long term conditions. The sessions are delivered by fully qualified and experienced instructors and are available at a number of venues across South Tyneside. 

For further information see fitness classes.

Parks and green space

Parks and green spaces provide a perfect environment for getting out and being active. 

Research shows that increasing your exposure to green space:

  • delays the onset of health problems in later life
  • reduces levels of obesity in children and young people

In South Tyneside we are fortunate to have some outstanding and award winning parks.

  • The South and North Marine Parks take prominence at the sea front and have a range of facilities and activities that take place. 
  • Bents Park is home to many events including concerts over the summer.
  • Harton Quays Park is the perfect place for a riverside walk.

Find out more about parks in South Tyneside.


South Tyneside have an adult parkrun and a junior parkrun. Both events are free for anyone to join.

To find out more information about the parkrun events, see North Marine junior parkrun or South Shields parkrun.

Sports activities 

There are lots of sports coaching programmes for kids throughout the summer holidays, as well as free activity express days. 

There are sports facilities available to hire at leisure facilities across South Tyneside, including: 

  • badminton
  • basketball
  • cricket nets
  • football
  • gymnastics and trampolining
  • handball
  • netball
  • racketball
  • and many more

For details see sports facilities.

The Green Gym

The Green Gym concept encourages people to improve both their physical and mental health through participation in practical and conservation or horticultural activities and is suitable for people of all levels and abilities.

The Green Gym sessions offer a range of activities including:

  • environmental management in parks
  • formal park gardening
  • nature reserve conservation

The sessions are friendly and informal and are designed to cater for all abilities and individual needs. The sessions provide an excellent way to keep active.

The Green Gym is ideal for anyone new to exercise, or those with existing medical conditions that would benefit from support to begin to increase their physical activity.

For full details including how to get involved, session times and contact details see Groundwork North East and Yorkshire.


Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.

It's underrated as a form of exercise, but walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active.

Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.


South Tyneside offers cyclists a comprehensive network of routes, ranging from strategic routes such as the Coastal Cycle way between Sunderland and South Shields, to off-road leisure routes along the river corridors such as the River Don at Primrose.

Inner urban routes and routes on re-used mineral lines form part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) and the Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Route also has a finish line in South Shields.

For further information on South Tyneside Cycle Routes go to Visit South Tyneside: Cycling.

Coastal trails

The South Tyneside Coastal Trails allows you to discover local history and stunning coastal views either by foot or cycle.

There are three trails available to participate in, 3km, 5km and 10km.

The trails are great to do as a family activity and contain a number of points of interest. 

Find out more about South Tyneside Coastal Trails.

For more information about beaches, go to Visit South Tyneside: Beaches and coast.

Active travel

We all rely on cars and public transport, because they make our lives so easy. But making active travel choices can be an easy way to fit activity into your day.

For most people, the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be built into everyday life, such as:

  • walking or cycling instead of travelling by car
  • using stairs instead of lifts

Community organisations

We are fortunate to have a strong network of community and voluntary sector organisations in South Tyneside. 

You can find out about activities and opportunities to get active at Plinth or A Better U.

Healthy eating

Eating a healthy balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you look and feel your best. And it's easier than you think.

The key to a healthy diet is:

  • Balance the amount of calories you eat with the amount you use being physically active
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs

For more advice and information on applying these tips see NHS Live Well.

Be Food Smart app 

Download the Change4Life Be Food Smart app to see how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is really inside your food and drink.

Find out more at Change4Life: Be Food Smart.

South Tyneside Physical Activity Strategy 

View the  South Tyneside Physical Activity Strategy (PDF) [912KB] .