It happens to the best of us. We're busy working away and before we know it, hours (maybe days) have passed and the only time we parted ways with our chairs was when someone reminded us it was lunchtime. With so many studies showing the dangers of sitting for too long, it's no wonder that so many companies are making big efforts to get people moving.

It comes as no surprise that the company leading this movement is Virgin. Richard Branson and his team, with their modern and upbeat Virgin Active gyms spreading all across the world, are now pushing Virgin Sport: a weekend-long fitness festival hitting San Francisco in October. Regardless of your fitness level, they say, there's something for everyone.

So why is Branson pushing to make bigger marks in the fitness world? For starters, the whole concept of Virgin Sport sprouted when his son-in-law pitched the idea while cycling. During their strenuous mid-hill sprint, Branson, in his famous can-do attitude, agreed. His a-ha moment came during an exercise-related event and he says it's always been that way.

"I wouldn't be able to achieve all the things I was trying to achieve in my life if I wasn't at the peak of fitness," Branson recently admitted to me (as well as a bunch of other writers on a press conference call).

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His number one fitness tip for those who are too busy to exercise?

"Make time for yourself. Exercise does not deplete my energy. Instead, it gives me energy and makes me feel like a young kid again," he said. "Throughout my travels, I make time for physical activity, preferably a fun group exercise. Having fun with others makes exercise feel less like a burden and more social."

It sounds easier said than done, but Virgin Sport CEO Mary Wittenberg said that the team likes to practice what they preach:

"We believe in integrating fitness into the workday, so you'll often see our teammates going out for a run, taking a spin class or doing yoga at lunch. We wear athletic clothes to work and onboard our partners with a workout. Some of the quirkier things you might find us doing -- wall sits or planks during conference calls. Burpees in airports. We like to make the most of our time and believe that sitting could be the death of us all."

I know. It's hard to stay active when there are a million e-mails and phone calls to attend to. But at the end of the day, just imagine what a good couple of minutes could do for your mind and body. Whether you take Wittenberg's advice to turn boardroom meetings to walking meetings, or simply make an effort to get up more often, think of it as a ticket to your next big idea.

Branson summed it up best: "It is important to reflect on life and work and learn from hardship -- at the same time life is too short to overthink. So [...] screw it, let's do it!"

Published on: May 30, 2017
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