With his upbeat energy and dedication to getting people fit, who better to help us kickstart a healthy January than Joe Wicks?
After getting us through lockdowns in 2020 with his PE lessons and simple meals, Wicks understandably earned himself an MBE and became a national treasure.
A personal trainer and cook, the 35-year-old emphasises the mental benefits of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to get back on track after Christmas, these are Wicks’ top tips for starting the year right…
1. Don’t be too extreme
If you’ve overindulged over the Christmas holidays, it’s easy to fall into the trap of setting crazy goals for January, in the hope of getting fit and healthy as quickly as possible.
However, Wicks’ top piece of advice is “don’t do anything too restrictive”. He warns against “a really low calorie diet” and says: “Focus on making small changes,” as these will be more sustainable to maintain in the months to come.
2. Set your home up
For Wicks, a sure-fire way of sticking to an exercise plan is making it as easy as possible. “Make your home your gym,” he explains. “Make your home the place where you workout, so it’s like 20 minutes here and there and easier to do and stick to.”
3. Focus on sleep health
Health isn’t just about eating your greens and working out. Wicks wants you to get a good night’s sleep as well. “Sacrifice a bit of TV and get to bed an hour early, because that will make a huge difference to your mental health,” he says.
4. Plan ahead
“Prep your meals like a boss,” says Wicks. “Get organised in the kitchen, planning meals for the week. Try to prep a few days in advance – that can really help you stay on track.”
Batch cooking and sticking extra portions in the freezer for the future can be a big help in making healthy eating easier.
5. Don’t forget to treat yourself
Wicks’ attitude towards a healthy lifestyle is a positive one – and that means you can “allow yourself treats”.
His says: “Allow stuff, so have a little chocolate bar or a glass of wine, because you don’t want to just give up all the things you love. It’s about long-term sustainability, as opposed to a really hard deprivation diet.”
30 Day Kick Start Plan: 100 Delicious Recipes With Energy Boosting Workouts by Joe Wicks, photography by Andrew Burton, is published by Bluebird, priced £18.99. Available now