Ok, so it's autumn, the weather is getting chilly and suddenly we're all sitting indoors tucking into comfort food like we're going into hibernation. While that feels super great, it's not the best approach for keeping in shape and come January 1st, we'll all be signing up to New Year gym deals. The Body Coach Joe Wicks told HELLO! that this time of year is notorious for weight gain: "Between the end of summer and Christmas is the time people gain the most weight because summer's over, they're not as motivated and they really relax. This is the time you should put in the work and stay fit so that when you come to January 1st you're still in great shape and feel great all year round."
Photo credit: Instagram / Joe Wicks
We spoke to Joe as he prepared to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The star trainer was in Dubai for the region's Fitness Challenge 2019, which encourages people to work out for 30 minutes a day for 30 days.
We love Joe's positive attitude to fitness and diet. The Instagram star is all for regular exercise, urging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle now, rather than put it off. He says: "I think you should be fit all year round. Don't wait until January to start. You can stay fit now. You can get a head start and keep it up all year round."
The Body Coach on... Getting started & staying motivated
"The hardest thing is to start," says Joe. "You have to do the workout and by the end, you'll feel really great and that should be your motivation to keep it up throughout the week. Exercise gives me energy and I feel way better when I exercise and more positive and productive. It makes me happier. For me, the body image is the by-product. What I love are the mental health benefits I get through exercise."
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The Body Coach on... Daily exercise tips
"Bodyweight exercises are great, so things like squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, running on the spot, really simple. That's the basic routine that I do and it's effective. If you're going to be really intense and push yourself for 20 minutes, it's enough to get you burning energy and feeling good. I'd say do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds on for 20 minutes."
The Body Coach on... Your Christmas diet
"I really believe Christmas is about coming together with your family and friends, enjoying the food and the things you've been doing since you were a kid. I don't think you should completely cut out the mince pies and Christmas cakes – it's important to enjoy those things. The mistake people make is they stop exercising and maybe they ingest a lot of alcohol. If you're going to stay healthy over Christmas, keep exercising even over those two weeks you've got off work.
Joe with his wife Rosie and daughter Indie Photo credit: Instagram / Joe Wicks
Joe advises: "Try and keep fit – even if you can do a 20-minute workout every day. That will allow you to have those extra treats and not gain any body fat. The biggest issue is alcohol. When people drink alcohol they don't want to exercise the next day and they eat loads of junk. Obviously you're going to have a few drinks, but don't get hammered every time you go out."
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The Body Coach on... Ditching the cheat day
We hear a lot about 'cheat days' within diets, but Joe thinks eating is all about moderation. He says: "I mainly eat healthily most of the time, but obviously still have a nice meal out and I'll have a dessert and a burger now and again. I don't see it as a cheat day. People can do that but then they overdo it and smash 500 calories. I think, spread it out throughout the week rather than doing it all in one day, have the odd treat now and again. [A cheat day] encourages massive overeating and then there are people who feel really bad afterwards."
Dubai Fitness Challenge 2019 continues until November 16 with more than 5,000 fitness classes and sessions across the city. See dubaifitnesschallenge.com