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Joe Wick's Fitness Tips For Self-Isolation

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Parents, you already know this. With schools across the country closed in the last several weeks and with several weeks to go, there's an important aspect of a school day that's been left behind - physical education. But last week, fitness guru Joe Wicks announced PE with Joe. It's an at-home workout for kids that he livestreams online. And he's with us now from London, a healthy distance away, to give us some tips on how to get moving during self-isolation. Welcome, Mr. Wicks. Thanks so much for joining us.

JOE WICKS: How are you doing? Thank you so much for having me.

MARTIN: So how'd you come up with the idea for PE with Joe?

WICKS: Well, I started my career as a personal trainer. So I did one-to-one, you know, outdoors, at people's houses and then obviously boot camps and stuff, which I love. But then I realized that, to really sustain your fitness and health throughout the year, like, doing at home and trying to make your, you know, your living room or your bedroom your workout area is so much more sustainable. So I've been building my YouTube channel for about seven years. And I thought that, you know, everyone's locked in. People can't get out. People need to be exercising. So the idea was a short 30-minute workout which is going to bring kids and parents together. And it's hit a nerve. You know, people want their kids to be exercising.

MARTIN: Have you had to kind of modify your workout for kids to - because you started working with adults, as you said, as a personal trainer? Have you had to switch it up a little bit for kids?

WICKS: Well, I just say, you know, I'm actually a parent myself, so I've got two little kids. So I know how difficult it can be. You know, the workouts are very simple. You can do them in a very small area. So we're doing things like jumping jacks, squats, you know, lunges. And I've got really funny moves. So we do kangaroo hops. We do bunny jumps. We do Spider-Man lunges where we sort of spin a web from our wrist. And all these little things that are really making people laugh, and it's really helping people at a time when we need to be feeling positive and optimistic, and exercise is such a powerful way of doing that.

MARTIN: Do you have any tips for people who might be - I don't know - maybe intimidated to get started or maybe they feel kind of funny, you know, working out at home in front of everybody or - I don't know. What do you think? How do you get people started?

WICKS: Yeah, definitely. And, like, I'm really proud of my channel. But you might not like my style of training. But if you type in, you know, yoga for pregnancy or Pilates for elderly, you're going to find someone doing good content. So don't feel like you have to have the gym to stay fit during this time. You can come out of this feeling healthier and fitter. Just find it. Tap into it. Utilize the Internet and social media to find someone that can get you doing something because it could be 20 minutes of yoga or meditation or a HIIT session with me. Either way, you're going to feel better for it.

MARTIN: And are you self-isolating as well? I figure - I assume so. The U.K. is apparently - you're in the same boat that we're in. Have you learned anything about yourself during this period that you didn't already know?

WICKS: Yeah. It's - mentally it's difficult because I like going out to the park. I like getting fresh air. And I like going for coffee with my wife and kids. But ultimately, I understand how important this is. And we need to get through this together. So I'm staying positive. I think exercise - I'm doing this, you know, every day, Monday to Friday. That's definitely helping me stay a bit more positive and focused. I think that's why I'm trying to share, really, that you don't have to be super fit to get up and get moving. And you don't need dumbbells and kettlebells. You can do it at home with just your body.

MARTIN: That is Joe Wicks. You can catch his at-home workout videos on his YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV. Joe Wicks, thank you so much for joining us.

WICKS: Thank you so much. Take care, guys. Good luck. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.