Mark Wright: I don’t feel good mentally if I’m not training and eating well

Mark Wright: I Don’t Feel Good Mentally If I’m Not Training And Eating Well
Reality stay Mark Wright has carved a career spanning sport, fitness and presenting. Photo: PA
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By Abi Jackson, PA

Since finding fame on reality TV series The Only Way Is Essex over a decade ago, Mark Wright has carved a career spanning sport, fitness and presenting.

He discovered a passion for sharing workouts online during the lockdowns, and the 36-year-old now runs the Live Wright fitness and healthy lifestyle coaching platform and app with his brother, Josh, and lives in Essex with his wife, actress Michelle Keegan.


We caught up with him to chat about winter motivation, finding balance, and why he’s even started to enjoy cold, rainy runs…

What advice would you give people to stay motivated with their workouts at this time of year?

“It’s so easy to fall off the bandwagon now summer’s out of the way, there’s no holidays booked, you’re going to be wrapped up in coats and Christmas is coming, when we all like to indulge in treats. And we all live by the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing. But for me, I think it’s imperative to put the work in now – then you can get a head-start, meaning you can relax over the festive period, and come January, you’re ahead of the curve.



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A post shared by LIVE WRIGHT (@_livewright_)


“So don’t be that person who snoozes the alarm and stays in bed because it’s dark and everyone else is doing it. Remember how you’re going to feel after [a workout], and know that this is the hard bit, but come the new year, it’ll be easier. So set yourself a challenge – you’re going to get through it!”

Getting through winter can feel like a bit of a slog mentally, can’t it?

“Yeah – and that’s one of the reasons why I make sure I up my training game and make myself feel good, because it’s counteracting the fact that it is a bit tougher at this time of year, and the sun’s not shining through the window when you wake up.


“You’ve got to try and enjoy the things that are good about this time of year too – like wrapping up on the sofa and watching a Christmas movie, indulging in a roast dinner on a Sunday.”

Do you try and make sure you get outside in nature when it is light outside?

“Yeah – I never used to be able to go for runs in the winter, I used to always train in the gym, but now I get a buzz out of wrapping up, putting a woolly hat on in the cold, breathing in the really fresh air and going for a run. I was running in the rain the other morning and kind of enjoying it!

“I think it’s about mentally adapting to the situation we’re in. Staying on top of your fitness game and your [physical] health is so important for your mental health as well. For me, if I’m not training and I’m not eating well and I don’t feel good, I mentally don’t feel good. Training keeps me on that straight and narrow.”


Mark Wright at the Start of the 2023 London Landmarks Half Marathon
Mark Wright at the Start of the 2023 London Landmarks Half Marathon (Alamy/PA)

It’s so easy to fall into ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking with exercise. What would your advice be to people who think they may as well not bother if they’re not managing to totally nail it? 

“Exactly that – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’m a massive believer in balance, and everything in moderation. I’ve got myself out of shape quite a few times, and then I’ve got a higher hill to climb, if you like. To be fair, I’m in that situation at the moment. A lot of us keep ourselves fit in the summer, but I actually don’t need it for my mental health in the summer because there’s so much fun happening – you’re going to beer gardens, going out with your friends – so that’s where I get my happiness, and I fall off the gym buzz a bit.

“So I’m having to really climb a hill – doing extra training, extra runs – and I don’t like that. What I like is just to throughout the year, get yourself to a nice point where you feel comfortable, you feel good, and you don’t have to train that much, just maintain it. The best form of training for me is maintaining. A few times a week, exercising as much as you can, and everything in moderation.


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