Summer's coming which means getting one's bikini out of hibernation, eek! You may be contemplating a radical get-fit programme before you jet off on your hols but as The Body Coach Joe Wicks told us, short, seasonal bursts of exercise aren't actually in your best interest and are often unsustainable. We caught up with Instagram star Joe to discuss his tips for toning up ahead of summer and how we can stay motivated all year round. Joe has teamed up with recipe box company Gousto to offer recipes from his Lean in 15 books, which can now be delivered to your door.
Hi Joe, what are your tips for toning up for summer?
"You can't leave it too late; you have to try and stay fit all year round. I recommend regular workouts, so four or five short and intense Hiit sessions a week, so 20-25 minutes of effort. You can do little sprints, burpees, mountain climbers – anything that's really going to get your heart rate up. If you can, combine that with strength exercises like squats, lunges and press ups."
Photo credit: Instagram / Joe Wicks
"In terms of the diet, it's down to healthy home cooked food, not a low calorie diet. You should try and think about staying fit and lean all year round, not just leaving it to two weeks before you go on holiday. If you start now, you can be lean for summer, but if you leave it till July or August, what do you really think is going to happen to your body two weeks before? It's not going to change much. I try and encourage people to stay motivated throughout winter."
What are your favourite exercises?
"I'm quite consistent with my training. I train four or five days a week, normally at home. I've got a peloton spin bike, but I also love doing bodyweight exercises like press ups, burpees and squats – things that will make me feel all round fit and strong."
Do you ever have a lazy day with fitness?
"I definitely have those days – especially if I've had a night out and I'm hungover and I want to eat everything in sight. But I just really enjoy exercise. For me, the benefits come from the energy it gives me and how I feel. It's more of a mental health thing. I like being fit and strong."
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What are your tips for staying motivated?
"For people that struggle with motivation, it's not about your weight and how you look – that's one thing. The real motivation is going to be coming from how you feel, how your mind-set is, so definitely try to tune into that rather than weighing yourself and being obsessed with the weight on the scales."
You've just been travelling in Costa Rica with your wife and daughter. How do you stay fit when you're on holiday?
"We didn't have many gyms on the trip because it was quite rural, so it was mainly bodyweight training like sprints on the beach. Or if I was at a hotel with a hill I'd run up the hill then walk down, then run up the hill… just basic stuff that keeps you moving, keeps you going. You don't need really fancy equipment and a gym to stay fit. I think people think 'Oh what can I possibly do right now?' but even if you ran on the spot for 30 seconds and did that 10 times, then that's something. It's just about getting moving."
Do you like to exercise on your own or with a friend?
"Because I'm not often on my own, I actually like working out on my own but I also like doing a class. I go to a spin class. I'm quite motivated on my own but some people need that extra motivation, so it's about working out what's right for you."
Lots of people struggle with snacking. Can you recommend some healthy snack ideas?
"I'm not a massive snacker because I have three big meals. If you are going to snack, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts are always a good option. I just don't tend to rely on those things, because if you do, you end up eating chocolate and crisps. Focus on your meals if you can. I think three big meals is better than having a tiny little breakfast, lunch and dinner and then snacking on stuff throughout the day, because that all adds up."
Visit gousto.co.uk to order Joe Wicks' recipes. Meals start at £2.98, with four new delicious, nutritious recipes each week
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