Important reason Joe Wicks isn't afraid to embrace his 'dad bod' from time to time
Joe Wicks has opened up about why he's happy to just enjoy what he wants in life and embrace his "dad bod".
The fitness coach, aka The Body Coach, 36, has addressed the importance of balance when it comes to exercise and nutrition ahead of his third baby with partner Rosie Jones.
He doesn't deprive himself of a gin and tonic or eating out from time to time, which despite him rising to fame after keeping the nation fit in lockdown with PE with Joe, he believes makes him more relatable.
Wicks received an MBE for his services to fitness and charity in 2020 and received an honorary doctorate in sport and exercise science from St Mary's University for his contributions to the wellbeing of people across the country and charity earlier this month.
"I don't have to be shredded 365 days a year to be inspiring," he told the Mirror in an interview.
In case you were wondering, "shredded" means 'ultra-muscular' in the fitness world.
"And if I'm really honest about things, I think people like that," he continued. "When I have a bit of weight on me people relate to it because no one is bang on it all year round."
Wicks posts snaps of him enjoying a roast with his family and asking his 4.5 million Instagram followers what their all-time favourite ice cream is, in between sharing his healthy recipe ideas and exercise videos, showing he really is practicing what he's preaching. Balance is key.
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He's also not afraid to share images of his bloated belly, or before and after photos from when he's not as ripped, showing how normal it is for human bodies to change, with health being the number one priority.
"I think the reason people do connect with me is because I share those ups and downs, I share the months I'm not training or if I'm having a bit of a blowout and people feel that is quite a human thing," he explained.
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Watch: Joe Wicks receives MBE at Windsor Castle
Wicks has previously talked about not weighing himself or calorie counting in his fitness journey because he doesn't believe this is an accurate measure of progress or that depriving yourself on a really restrictive diet is beneficial.
"It's not just about being lean, because I've tried that," he added, before explaining how difficult it is to be extremely lean all year round, "because you can't really enjoy everything you want".
"I can't look like that and be able to have ice creams and gin and tonics and eat out," he said. "It's not that enjoyable, you know.
"So I actually think I've got a much better balance now with my food and my training. I'm just happy as I am."
Wicks married Jones in 2019, and the pair already share Indie, nearly four, and Marley, two, with them often seen enjoying life together on social media.
As well as for physical health, Wicks is a big advocate of the mental health benefits of exercise, something which he has used personally to overcome struggles.
He recently made the documentary Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood, exploring how his parents' mental health affected him as a child. His dad suffered with a heroin addiction, while his mother lived with an eating disorder and OCD.
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"Now, rather than focusing on being really ripped, the thing that I focus on is, 'Can I get people just moving and feeling good?' I just focus on that," said Wicks.
“It used to be all about body image and it is very scary and quite intimidating. I have just tried to make exercise fun and I just break it down and say, ‘You know what, you can still be fit and exercise, you don’t have to be in a gym doing really intense stuff.’ It can be much more fun at home with the kids.”
He lives in Surrey with his family, though they also have a place in LA. He is also careful to take breaks to avoid burnout, which he's suffered from in the past.
Wicks and Jones have been enjoying a 'babymoon' in Ibiza, with the latest addition to their family due in six weeks.
The health and fitness guru constantly shares his tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle on social media, with him stressing the huge importance of sleep.
Posting four tips to his Instagram stories on Monday, he wrote, "1. Get more sleep 2. Drink more water. 3. Move your body more 4. Cook at home more", before adding on the next slide "The most important one of all is the sleep... more sleep means more energy".
"More energy means you've got a fighting chance of exercising regularly, cooking more at home and being able to make better food choices," he explained.
"If you focus on just one thing this week. Focus on going to bed earlier. Sleep makes every thing else feel a lot easier.
"Going to bed an hour earlier isn't a sacrifice it's an investment in tomorrow."
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He echoed this in a progress report to Instagram in January. "What I’ve realised more than ever is that sleep is the foundation that everything stands on," he wrote. "When I sleep better and consistently I wake up with more energy to train harder. When I’ve slept well I also make better food choices."
In the same month, he also shared 'three simple strategies' that have helped him disconnect, feel calmer and be more present, which include, "1. Leaving my phone downstairs when I go to bed 2. Having one hour of NO phone when I wake up 3. No phone between 5-7.30pm to be fully present with Indie, Marley and Rosie for dinner, bath and bed time".
For more tips on leading a healthy lifestyle, see our guide on 10 expert-approved weight loss tips good for your body and mind and How to start working out: A beginner's guide to getting fit for the first time.