Farewell to PE with Joe but not goodbye…

This morning we said farewell to PE with Joe but it’s certainly not goodbye. Today marks my 128th daily workout in a row. Not only have I completed every single PE with Joe workout since 23rd March but I’ve also done a session on his days off! On those days I chose a HIIT session from his bodycoach You Tube channel. Some may consider this slightly obsessive behaviour, but I know that it has helped me to get through some challenging days during lockdown. I’m now reflecting on the power of exercise (and plants) to heal but more of that later.

Tuning in to PE with Joe started out to be a little bit of fun and a way to keep the kids fit and occupied during lockdown. I soon started to really enjoy the feelings of positivity and motivation that exercise brings. Most of the time my boys sat on the sofa in their pyjamas, watching me jumping about the room like a lunatic and offering their unwelcome comments. I’d love to know what my neighbours thought of me prancing around performing “silly billies”, “kangaroo hops” and “frog jumps”. I carried on regardless of the comments from my children and looked forward to every session. I soon started noticing how I could keep up with Joe Wicks and I could even do proper press-ups for the first time in my life!

The most amazing transformation has been in the repair of a long-term knee injury. The injury came about after doing a silly dance on a drunken night out in my 20s. Ever since then I had pain in my knee after running and cycling. It didn’t stop me from doing these activities, but I had to be careful and limit the time spent doing impact exercise. Instead I chose to walk everywhere, do pilates and lived an active lifestyle. Now after completing 18 weeks of “PE with Joe” all those squats, lunge jumps, burpees etc. have paid off. I can honestly say that I have no pain in my knee at all and my quads are strong which must be protecting my knee. I feel fitter and stronger than I have ever done before despite being in my late 40s.

However, exercise may not be the whole answer. I turned to a 100% plant-based diet in February this year. It took me a little bit of time to ditch those last few foods that I was clinging onto. The change came after watching a whole host of plant-based movies – Gamechangers, What the Health, Forks over Knives etc. There is loads of sound scientific evidence that a plant-based diet can improve athletic performance and aid recovery. Watch the Gamechangers movie on Netflix if you want to know more. The movie clearly dispels the myth that you need animal protein in order to build muscle. I’m no athlete by the way but the change in diet and exercise has very possibly aided my recovery. No wonder that so many top athletes have adopted this diet – Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Jermain Defoe, David Haye to name but a few.

I know that veganism is controversial and an emotive subject for many. I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to eat in this way but there’s no denying the power of eating more plants, after all they hold powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

So today I’m not saying goodbye to Joe. I’ll continue to tune into his You Tube channel and keep by my mission to stay fit. I thank him for showing me that exercise can be fun, keeping me sane during lockdown and for inspiring me to get stronger and fitter. I honestly thought that I was destined for a knee replacement in my older years but the future now looks bright and pain free!

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