Logging on in Lycra

When it comes to the pandemic popularity race – an unlikely duo is hitting top spot.

Joe Wicks and Rishi Sunak are currently neck and neck but the announcement by the Chancellor on the self-employed financial package is likely to push him over the line.

Not wishing to make light of this worldwide health crisis, it is interesting to observe the societal life changes it has bought.

Who’d have thought even a month ago that a million kids and teenagers would be leaping out of bed at 9am to do a PE LESSON. No excuse of missing kit, periods or fake grandparents’ funerals – just an enthusiastic army of young people all logging on to watch a surfer boy look-alike from Surrey jumping around in front of his fireplace (is it just me who really only watches for the unintentionally amusing subtitles? Just go to Joe Wicks PE Lesson on YouTube to see for yourself).

PE with Joe WIcks

Body Coach Joe may be getting the most hits but he’s certainly not alone when it comes to the new world of virtual exercising – once monopolised by the WiiFit.

The days of pretending to ski on our lounge carpet whilst pointing a handheld console (which ran out of batteries before you got to the bottom of the mountain) has now been replaced by TV presenter Davina McCall screeching at us in high definition as she plays the xylophone on her ribs or Olympic gymnast Matt Whitlock replacing hand weights with his actual child (surely questionable parenting behaviour – but hey needs must!).

The list goes on – in lockdown Britain – coach potatoes are as scarce as your average Maris Piper.

Suddenly being told we have to limit our exercise to once a day has made us desperate to pull on our Lycra and logging on.

Entire families who haven’t actually been in the same room together since the late 90s – let alone exercise – are crowding around a screen eagerly awaiting their next class. Together we are going to Zumba our way out of this crisis.

Even at JogOn HQ our ‘megabyte meetings’ now reference our use of technology not our biscuit consumption. And the pure joy of being able to mute you all during our new on-line Strength For Runners Class is unparalleled.

Sales of indoor Peloton bikes have also spiked – or is that spiked – and makers of rowing machines are one of the few employers on a crest of a wave. Just how long before they go the way of the hastily -purchased bread-maker may be down to Boris.

Once he sets us free once again blinking into the outside world, will our 17,000 steps before lunch (most of them on the spot) be reduced to a wander to the nearest pub? Will generations still argue over who is taking the dog for a walk (those pooches who’ve not booked the first flight out of here for a well-deserved mini break) and will we all go back to thinking Joe Wicks is better on freeze frame?

Personally, my main goal over the next three weeks is to conquer the North Face of my ironing pile …. whilst of course simultaneously performing an hour of interactive hula hooping on my mobile phone.