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Health

Mr Motivator shares his essential winter workout

The Big Issue’s lethargy-busting exercise and wellbeing guru Mr Motivator shares his top workout tips for body and mind this Christmas

With the winter season now firmly upon us, spirits on the wane after a tough 2020 and an unusual Christmas ahead, who you gonna call?

Who else but The Big Issue’s lethargy-busting exercise and wellbeing guru Mr Motivator?

Fresh from being awarded an MBE for services to health and fitness, the 68-year-old – who overcame homelessness to become one of Britain’s best loved celebrity workout instructors – has pulled on a special seasonally-themed unitard to get us feeling good in both body and mind in the build-up to the festive season, even while cooped up at home.

“When it comes to being active during winter it’s not just about being physically active,” Mr Motivator urges us all, “we need to be mentally active as well. And being mentally active means that we need to put in place some little triggers that keeps us focused on the fact that, in the spring, things are going to be better. And that good times are going to be on the way again soon. We’ll get through this, together!”

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Tip 1 – No trainers no gain 

Every day get up with a purpose – don’t hang around in your pyjamas. Even if you’re going to be staying in the house all day. Put on your trainers instead of your slippers. Straight away you’re ready to feel active.

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Tip 2 – Run, Rudolph, run 

Don’t let the cold weather put you off, just a short walk or run can really make a difference. If you don’t have a garden, you can go down the stairs. If you don’t have stairs, you can go out the front door, around in a circle and come back. Focus on going as far away from home as you can for 10 minutes – then you’ve got to do another 10 minutes to get back.

Tip 3 – Hark! The alarm bells are ringing 

Get into the habit of setting an alarm on your phone to remind you maybe every 30 minutes or an hour to get up and move, even just for a short while. On particular days whenever mine goes off, I do 10 quick press-ups.

Tip 4 – Ding dong hang your decorations merrily on high

Even if all you’re doing is standing up and sitting down or doing another simple, repetitive movement, it’s great exercise for your legs. Every step you take, 250 muscles are going to work for you. That’s all you need to do to get started.

Tip 5 – Rock around the Christmas tree 

Put music on in your home, because when your favourite music is playing, you want to move, you want to bop. Music can take you to a place that has great memories. It can lift your spirits; it can calm your nerves – music helps you to relax and feel positive.

Tip 6 – Jingle dumbbells

Instead of press-ups I might grab some dumbbells, or even some cans of beans or whatever else is in the cupboard, and I just do some simple movements – there’s plenty available, you’ll find out how to do them online.

Tip 7 – Treat yourself 

Put simple daily habits like these in place and you don’t have to punish yourself or feel bad for enjoying a few rewards over Christmas. For me it’s all about the mince pies – warmed up with custard or ice cream. Remember: stressed spelled backwards, is desserts!

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