Ed Sheeran is opening up about his newfound love for fitness and how he lost nearly 50 pounds in the process.
The “I Don’t Care” singer, 28, shared in a recently published interview on the Behind the Medal podcast that he took up running after he quit smoking three years ago to “clear” out his lungs.
“I didn’t touch exercise for a long time,” Sheeran told the podcast hosts, admitting that while he played football (soccer) as a kid, “it all kind of went out the window” when he started playing music and picked up smoking.
“And then I stopped smoking three years ago and then ever since then started exercising. I love it,” he said, explaining that while his fitness routine usually includes 45 minutes of running in the morning, he sometimes adds in swimming and sit-ups.
“I started doing it because when I stopped smoking, I was very aware that my lungs were so full of s— that I needed to clear them out,” he said of his decision to start running. “Gyms are good but there’s nothing like fresh air to really give you a clean out. That’s, for me, the main reason why I started doing it.”
In addition to the physical benefits of his new hobby, Sheeran said he also appreciates the mental clarity that running can bring.
“I’ve gotten really into cycling as well, and there’s no way you can, like, check emails or watch TV shows,” he explained. “You’re either with someone talking, or you’re thinking. And it’s a really good thing.”
The “Shape of You” singer added that he had to make a conscious effort to squeeze in exercise while on his most recent tour.
When asked how he stays fit while touring the world, he said, “You don’t really.”
“I kind of had to make a real effort on this tour,” he said, revealing that during his X tour in 2015 to 2016, he weighed 15 or 16 stone, which is between 210 and 224 lbs. Now, the musician weighs about 50 pounds less at “12 stone,” or about 168 lbs.
Sheeran said that one of the most difficult places for him to stay healthy on tour is the United States.
“It’s always America that gets me, America in buses,” he said. “Because you finish a gig in America, you know, you get like a tray of chicken wings, sit in the back of the bus, watch The Simpsons, drink a couple bottles of wine, but then that’s every single day, so it just piles on you.”
“But these last few years, because it’s been bigger shows, they take longer to set up so you have a bit longer time in between so you can have a routine,” he added. Plus, “wherever you go, there’s always a cool place to run,” he said of his frequent travel.
Now, the “Perfect” singer has high aspirations for his running and hopes to one day conquer a marathon.
“I definitely will [do a marathon],” Sheeran said, adding that he’d like to do it in a place where the paparazzi won’t be constantly following him around.
“For me, it’s something that I want to do it later though,” he said. “I’d have to do it somewhere where a lot of people weren’t watching.”
The star said he “could probably get away with it in places like Japan or China, or somewhere where it’s a bit more chill.”