Joe Wicks says he will not be “going anywhere” during lockdown as he spoke of his joy at seeing families exercise together.
The Body Coach’s online PE classes have been a huge hit, with one watched by almost a million people.
Wicks, 33, is the cover star of The Big Issue app’s first edition, giving readers a chance to support local vendors after street sales for the magazine stopped because of lockdown.
Wicks said he has been “so amazed at how many people have taken part” in his classes.
He told The Big Issue: “I’m seeing families for the very first time exercising together and that’s really powerful role modelling, your parents exercising with you, being silly, being a bit childish and feeling good.
“I think this is going to have long, long lasting benefits for these children and families.”
He added: “No matter how positive you are this is still a tough time for people… It’s so easy to be great on the surface, thinking I’m fine then suddenly, it can all come crumbling down around you…
“I’m not going anywhere. As long as we’re quarantined, as long as the schools are shut and you need me, I’ll be there.”
Wicks spoke of his pride at being a cover star for The Big Issue.
“Since the coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Big Issue vendors haven’t been able to sell on the streets,” he said.
“We need to ensure that, once this is all over, it’s still here to support vendors to earn a legitimate income and lift themselves out of poverty.”
He asked people to download the new Big Issue app and said: “I can’t urge you all enough to keep this awesome organisation alive.”
The Big Issue’s founder Lord Bird said: “We are so pleased that Joe has shone the light on our Big Issue app and thank him from the bottom of our hearts.
“We now hope that readers will welcome our wonderful new app with open arms and support our vendors through these strange and challenging times.
“Your support may mean the survival of a 29-year-old stronghold, which was, until now, there to offer a hand up for those living in poverty. Please download the app today and subscribe, so we can be there for vendors, now and in the future.”
The app, designed by Pugpig at no cost to The Big Issue, is free to download, and available on Apple Store and Google Play and will make the magazine accessible through weekly downloads at £2.99 for a copy or via subscriptions, starting from £32.99 for three months.