Exercise Referral Service

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The Exercise Referral Service is for adults with long-term medical conditions. Specialist exercise professionals will prescribe you a programme of exercise tailored to your individual needs. This can include gym-based sessions, group classes and online classes you do from home.

This activity is good for wellbeing because

  • exercise can make you feel better through the release of the happy hormone, endorphins;
  • it can improve your physical and mental health;
  • you will meet other people who you can socialise and chat with.

I was offered a place on the exercise referral service following a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. It has made a tremendous difference to my physical and mental recovery. I feel that exercise has given me back control of my life.


Carrie from Cambridge City Council visits one of the Strength and Balance classes that can be accessed through the Exercise Referral Service:

More information 

The Exercise Referral Service can help you manage your long-term medical condition or disability with a prescriptive programme of activity. You need a referral from a doctor, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or dietician to take part.

Speak to your health professional to find out whether you are eligible for referral. If you cannot meet with your health professional, there is a form on the Cambridge City Council website that you can send them to complete and return.

What to expect

The first step is an assessment with a fitness professional (there is a small charge for this). You will then be given a tailored exercise programme which will last 12 weeks or longer. This may include home-based exercise classes, and also gym sessions and group exercise classes (there is a small charge for these).

Examples of group exercise classes include:

  • cancer rehabilitation for men
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • long-term condition circuits
  • long-term condition strength and mobility
  • pilates for beginners
  • resistance band and aerobic conditioning
  • strength and balance

The classes are led by experienced and qualified exercise referral instructors who vary the exercises to make the classes fun! Adaptations of exercises are always given to meet the needs of everyone in the group, and you can complete the sessions seated if required.

Visit the City Council website for more information about the exercise sessions available.

Visit the Exercise Referral YouTube channel to watch videos which give an insight into the specialist classes available as part of the service.

There is a small charge for the initial assessment, and for gym sessions and exercise classes.

Home-based exercise classes are free.

How to contact

Where to go

Chesterton Sports Centre
Gilbert Road
Cambridge CB4 3NY

Abbey Leisure Complex
Whitehill Road
Cambridge CB5 8NT

Cherry Hinton Village Leisure Centre
Colville Road
Cherry Hinton

Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Purbeck Road

The Netherhall School
Queen Edith's Way

Meadows Community Centre
1 Saint Catharine's Road

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