With millions of children out of school around the world, Joe Wicks, a YouTube fitness instructor, has taken it upon himself to become their PE teacher.
Live from his home in London, Wicks live-streams child-friendly workouts every weekday morning at 9 a.m. GMT. The workouts, which are then uploaded onto his Youtube channel, have garnered millions of views from families in the US and UK, all the way to New Zealand and Australia.
He announced the idea on his Instagram last Thursday, saying that with schools closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, “there is no PE.”
“I’m going to take this over. I’m going to get your kids moving, fit and energized, positive and optimistic,” the 33-year-old said in his announcement.
Complete with a warmup, workout and cool down, the 30-minute workouts are loved by the kids. Schools are even sharing the link to his videos with their students.
But the most grateful appear to be the parents who tout Wicks’ workouts as a great way to keep their children, and even themselves, active while in self-isolation.
“It sets the day up nicely,” said Mark Crossley, a parent, told CNN. He uses Wick’s live-streams to workout with his wife and two boys at their home in England.
“(It’s) great for endorphins (and) they have been a massive success. It is also good for mental health in these tough times,” Crossley said.
Since he started uploading workout videos in 2014, Wicks has become a star in the fitness realm. He has more than 3 million Instagram followers and more than 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube. But after his “P.E with Joe” series blew up, he is even getting attention from TV producers.
“I was trying so hard to get a TV show but doors kept getting closed,” Wicks told UK’s Heart radio. “Now the BBC want to talk, CBeebies and Channel 4.”
But Wicks told Heart that he’s already “reaching a global audience digitally where I am now.”
“I’m doing what I love now and doing it from my living room,” he told Heart.