Athletes and artists are using the internet to help us keep fit in lockdown

The nation's PE teacher and Big Issue cover star Joe Wicks started a chain reaction of people using technology to give away home workout tips – or film exercise sessions to help people have fun while staying active

We’re all trying to get to grips with the new normal under Covid-19 lockdown and that includes trying to stay active when we can only leave the house once a day.

It’s no surprise, then, that this week’s cover star Joe Wicks has become a national hero in his role as the country’s PE teacher doing daily virtual exercise classes for kids while schools are closed.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you, I’m going to take this over,” he said when he announced his new project. “I’m going to get your kids moving, energised, optimistic so tune in.” Just weeks later, his workout sessions hit 40 million views.

Soldier Ben Pulling in Colchester took on a challenge that saw him do one of the Body Coach’s 20-minute workouts every hour between 7am on Easter Sunday until 7am the following day.

Streaming his efforts live on his Facebook profile, the 29-year-old managed to raise £1,040 for NHS frontline staff to get meals and the personal protective equipment they so desperately need.

And The Body Coach has inspired a long list of athletes, artists and celebrities keen to show us ways to keep our bodies moving while we shelter at home in an attempt to protect our NHS and save lives during the coronavirus outbreak.

Strictly star Oti Mabuse is hosting free online dance classes, for adults and kids, through her YouTube channel. Her step-by-step sessions are fit for all ages and abilities and, most importantly, they’re great fun.

Last week the dancer told The Big Issue what’s in her isolation kit – the boxsets, music and more that are helping her get through lockdown.

Meanwhile a fitness studio near Manchester, forced to close as a result of the pandemic, is kickstarting its own virtual gym with sessions starting online this weekend – and it’s hoped those looking to stay fit can also support local families struggling to put food on the table.

Leigh’s Bodyfit Academy workouts, streamed via Facebook, will be open to non-members too who are requested to donate to Atherton and Leigh foodbank.

Swimming superstar Tom Daley is keen to get us on our feet too, having put together a video of the exercises he uses at home to keep himself diving-ready. And double Olympic champion Jade Jones and flatmate bronze medallist Bianca Walkden are leading an easy taekwondo workout to give a bash under lockdown.

And heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, who has been running daily home workouts online during lockdown, teamed up with his little brother, fellow boxer and Love Island star Tommy – plus girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague, who he met on the reality show – to workout together remotely.

Elsewhere, charity and Big Issue investees the School of Hard Knocks got Scotland international rugby player Megan Gaffney on board to create a home workout demonstration using objects most of us are likely to have lying around the house, in the absence of gym gear. She used things like fabric softener, shampoo and a filled water bottle as weights to build up her strength.

If you’re after a familiar face to keep you company while you get moving, TV star Davina McCall is giving away a free 30-day membership to her online gym. It means anyone can access hundreds of workouts, yoga sessions, high-intensity pilates, dance classes and articles on wellbeing from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Remember any kind of movement will benefit your body. Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams recently released a workout video to new solo track Over Yet, filmed in her own locked-down living room. If under four minutes of ’80s dance aerobics-esque workout is all you can fit into your day, Hayley has you covered.

Exercise is as good for your mental wellbeing as it is your physical health. It makes sense then that personal trainer and army veteran Mark Tonner has joined forces with mental health charity If U Care Share Foundation in North Durham to raise cash through home workouts.

For just £1 anyone of any ability can get involved in the at-home training Tonner is offering through his website. All proceeds will go to the mental health charity to support their efforts boosting good mental health in local communities and working on suicide prevention.

And in case you missed it – The Body Coach helped us announce the launch of our new app, just one in a series of exciting measures we’re taking to make sure we can still support our vendors while they’re temporarily unable to sell the magazine on the streets. He also spoke exclusively to The Big Issue in an interview which is available through the app now.

Image: YouTube/Joe Wicks