Joe Wicks has shared his simple but effective ways of keeping a healthy mind and body during lockdown, including the importance of pushing through any tiredness many of us are experiencing right now.
In the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s true heroes have come to light. From key workers making sure we can still do our weekly food shops, to NHS nurses and doctors on the frontline saving lives, we owe them everything.
One of these national treasures is the man making sure families across the globe stay fit and healthy during lockdown. Joe Wicks – also known as The Body Coach – has been live streaming daily PE lessons on his YouTube channel and donating the profits to the NHS. His inclusive workouts and infectious positive personality are encouraging millions of people around the world (including this writer) to get on their feet, move their bodies and feel better.
And his recent words on a simple approach to exercising and looking after mental health during lockdown are well worth taking note of.
Wicks chatted to editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski on the Working From Home With Stylist podcast, explaining the best ways to keep up energy levels and maintain good mental health. The fitness coach says we should preferably aim to do 20 minutes of exercise a day at home in the morning, then go for an afternoon stroll.
He explains: “I truly believe that a morning workout is quite transformative to your outlook for the day… It’s great to train in the evening of course, by any means breakfast, lunch or dinner is great to train – but I think when you do it in the morning it just lifts your mood and your spirits a little bit and you feel a bit more optimistic.”
Describing the mental health benefits of morning exercise, he continues: “Stressful things coming in don’t feel as bad. So I do believe if you try [to] make your exercise in the morning, it’s going to benefit you the most. 25, 30 minutes – that could be a YouTube channel, a workout of mine, pilates, or yoga – there’s so much great content online that you don’t need to have a gym – that’s what people are going to wake up to and realise.”
Wicks admits that he used to find walking “not enjoyable”, but that has changed since having kids and being in lockdown.
“When you exercise outside, when you get fresh air, and are with nature it changes again, it’s another level of calmness and serotonin and dopamine – it just makes you feel calm,” he adds.
“So if you’ve got kids, try and get out – whether that’s half an hour of going to the park or going for a walk around the block. Even if you’re walking around outside and you’re living in central London, it’s still going to be great for your mind.”
Many people will relate to Wicks when he reveals that he is experiencing broken sleep. He insists we need to try and push through any tiredness though, because “the main energy source in your life is going to be your sleep and your food”.
Even when you feel too tired or unenthusiastic about exercising, there is always a feel good reward waiting for you at the end of it.
Like Wicks says: “You have to remember that the motivation to exercise is at the end of the workout, when you’ve finished it, when you’ve done 20 minutes of something, or you’ve gone for a bike ride or walk – you feel better.”
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Images: Getty, Conor McDonnell
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…