Joe Wicks has spoken of his joy at seeing families exercise together during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Body Coach’s online PE classes have proved to be a huge hit, with some sessions being watched by almost a million people.
And the 33-year-old, fitness star has revealed he believes that parents who take the time to exercise with their children are powerful role models.
“I’m seeing families for the very first time exercising together and that’s really powerful role modelling, your parents exercising with you, being silly, being a bit childish and feeling good,” he told The Big Issue.
“I think this is going to have long, long lasting benefits for these children and families.”
Wicks went on to say that he appreciates what a difficult period this is proving for many families, and he will continue to offer his services as the nation’s PE teacher as long as he’s needed.
“No matter how positive you are this is still a tough time for people… It’s so easy to be great on the surface, thinking I’m fine then suddenly, it can all come crumbling down around you…
“I’m not going anywhere. As long as we’re quarantined, as long as the schools are shut and you need me, I’ll be there.”
Previously commenting on the success of the first class Wicks, who will be running the classes every day at 9am via his The Body Coach YouTube channel, told The Telegraph: “Wow what an incredible start. I'm overwhelmed by the response and how many people took part this morning.
“We had millions of kids and families all over the world exercising together and starting their day with something that’s going to make them feel healthier, happier, more energised and more positive. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow and everyday over the coming weeks.”
The trainer also spoke of his pride at being chosen to be a cover star for The Big Issue.
“Since the coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Big Issue vendors haven’t been able to sell on the streets,” he said.
“We need to ensure that, once this is all over, it’s still here to support vendors to earn a legitimate income and lift themselves out of poverty.”
He asked people to download the new Big Issue app and said: “I can’t urge you all enough to keep this awesome organisation alive.”
The Big Issue’s founder Lord Bird said: “We are so pleased that Joe has shone the light on our Big Issue app and thank him from the bottom of our hearts.
“We now hope that readers will welcome our wonderful new app with open arms and support our vendors through these strange and challenging times.
“Your support may mean the survival of a 29-year-old stronghold, which was, until now, there to offer a hand up for those living in poverty. Please download the app today and subscribe, so we can be there for vendors, now and in the future.”
The app, designed by Pugpig at no cost to The Big Issue, is free to download, and available on Apple Store and Google Play and will make the magazine accessible through weekly downloads at £2.99 for a copy or via subscriptions, starting from £32.99 for three months.
Additional reporting PA.