Keeping active on the go

I’ve been on the road a lot recently with exciting Virgin, family and charity events. While I’m incredibly fortunate to spend time in many wonderful places, one of the toughest challenges is keeping healthy while moving around so much. When you’re on the go all the time, it can be hard to get enough exercise in.

Richard Branson

The way we counter this is to build workout time into my diary. Treat exercise like any other important appointment that you wouldn’t cancel. I put kitesurfing or tennis into my diary in the same way as I do board meetings – and often wear the same outfits for both!

In South Africa, I got the opportunity to cycle through the beautiful mountainside near Mont Rochelle, Virgin Limited Edition’s stunning vineyard. The steep climbs and breathtaking views got me thinking about the Strive Challenge and looking forward to the next one. Though it’s fairly unusual to see signs warning you not to feed baboons as you cycle past – yes, we were lucky enough to spot a few!

Richard Branson cycling

One way I’ve got even more active recently is by focusing even more on individual workout sessions. In the UK, South Africa and Australia we have superb Virgin Active health clubs, where I can pop in and surprise the team, take a tour, meet our members – and then get a proper workout myself. In Sydney, I took part in my first Reformer Pilates class at Virgin Active Australia and really got into it, enjoying the mix of strength building, intensity and time to focus. I also tried out a few pull-ups – I need to get back up to scratch if I’m going to impress Will Smith and the JUST Water team! 

Elsewhere in Australia, I got my tennis fix in, taking on all-comers on Makepeace Island on the Noosa River in Queensland. It’s a beautiful spot to play tennis and I worked up a sweat working on my serve. 

We also embarked upon some short hikes around the island, and were lucky enough to spot some of the island’s kangaroos hopping around the mangroves. 

Richard Branson looking for kangaroos
A kangaroo

From gym sessions to tennis, cycling to hiking, Pilates to swimming, I love mixing up the ways I stay in shape, keeping it interesting as well as useful. It’s something Virgin Pulse, our health and wellness company, find all the time: exercise is at it’s best when you aren’t even thinking of it as exercise – it’s simply going about your day and having fun. 

Forming healthy, repeatable habits is a simple secret to success. It’s great to be unpredictable, but having some structure through your day, especially when it comes to activeness, can help you to achieve more.


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