Climbing the walls: Star man Derek's going back to school with The Body Coach at start of fitness journey

With the UK moving into lockdown, keeping fit just became a whole lot harder.

Derek Bish
Derek Bish

That one form of exercise a day – a walk, a run or a cycle – is going to be important, but what else can you get up to in the confines of your own home?

Over the next few weeks I will give my take on getting fit at home, as I attempt to shed a few pounds during these weeks of isolation.

Let’s get this clear straight out the gate, I am no fitness expert.

Back in my teens, I used to be a promising tennis player and goalkeeper – supple, agile and stick thin.

Online fitness guru Joe Wicks has been leading the nation's youngsters with daily PE sessions on his YouTube channel The Body Coach TV. Image: The Body Coach TV/YouTube

Now 33 and a half, bang on 18 stone with three children and a love of fried chicken and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, it is fair to say those days are somewhat behind me...

Keeping fit and the pounds off have been a struggle at the best of times, so with weeks at home ahead of us I am somewhat anxious about how I might exit the other side of this strangest of times.

So it was with great trepidation – and the need to burn some energy from the kids before their first day of homeschool – that this great fitness challenge of mine began with a PE lesson.

I hated PE when I was a kid.

We never played tennis, we never played football, just a host of other sports I could not do – swimming, hockey and the old classic, gymnastics.

To me, PE is gymnastics – and the sheer horror that comes with it – so when my wife decided she would open the first day of homeschool by getting a PE lesson from Joe Wicks on YouTube (live at 9am on weekdays on his channel The Body Coach), I was utterly terrified.

WATCH: Check out P.E. with Joe

I will let you into a little secret about that terror... I was worried my new PE teacher Joe Wicks was going to ask us to do a forward roll. And I can’t do one.

A man of almost 34 who cannot do a forward roll – I know, the shame.

But a problem shared is a problem halved, so technically I should now be halfway towards doing one. We’ll see as we go on shall we?

Anyway, thankfully there were no forward rolls on the agenda – just a bunch of exercises you can do in your living room with zero equipment, simple enough for the kids to get it and entertaining enough for the adults to enjoy it. And it was a chance for my three, five and eight-year-olds to show up their dad for being the absolute unfit mess he is.

Still, it was the first step on a journey to get fit and hopefully lose some weight on this journey.

And I hope a lot of good comes out of this for Joe Wicks because it is a brilliant idea – 750,000 households tuned in on day one and almost a million on day two. Bless you, sir.

I want to hear and see what you are up to sporting-wise during lockdown – the good and the bad – so email your pictures and videos to or contact me on Twitter @DerekBish_Star

I will include the best ones in this column and retweet plenty of ideas that everyone can get involved with.

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