The start of the year is a time when most of us decide to assess our physical state, often planning New Years resolutions around getting fit and cutting back on unhealthy food or drink.
One person who is passionate about maintaining a healthy routine is Richard Branson, who used a recent Business Day blog to discuss why he felt it was important for us all to stay in good shape this year.
Heres five reasons why the Virgin Group Founder believes we should all care about health and wellness:
1. Its good to keep a routine
I try to swim most mornings that I am at home on Necker Island, its great way to start the day and keep the mind focused.
2. A good way to spend time with friends and family
Whether its hosting tennis tournaments, kitesurfing with fellow entrepreneurs or having a jog with the family, its clear that Richard uses his fitness routine to spend time with those he loves. He even paid his son Sam a surprise visit during his charity bike ride last year, the mischievous smile tells all.
3. Keeps the mind sharp
Exercise has always been part of my life right now tennis and kitesurfing are my favourite sports and I feel that keeping fit has helped me a great deal in my professional life. Many business leaders I know get run down by overwork and by not taking care of themselves; in time this leads to exhaustion and poor decision making.
4. New innovations
He loves a good gadget. The gadget that has really caught my eye is Swimtag, a British-designed training aid that tracks your progress in the pool. Aimed at all levels of swimmers, Swimtag records the number of lengths, split times, stroke rate and stroke type, allowing you to set personal challenges, share results with friends and compete online.
This is just the sort of device that can create a whole new market where there was none before, and at the same time encourage more people to swim and stay interested in their fitness levels.
5. The industry is still growing
Never one to be left behind, Richard is keen to keep an eye on an ever-growing sector and theres no better place to do so than from the inside: Though many developed economies are struggling through some tough times, the wellness sector has proved resilient, and some fast-moving businesses are finding success. This is partly because more people are becoming aware of the wider benefits of getting fit and partly because technology is revolutionising the way they can track, record and motivate themselves.