Experience the ultimate bush breakaway

UlusabaExperience the ultimate bush breakaway

Because you deserve it. We know how hard you work. That’s why we’re so excited to share this offer with you. Until 18 December 2015, we’re inviting you to experience one of Richard Branson’s favourite South African reserves, the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, at member-only rates.

You’re in for an epic experience

Sunset safaris. Stargazing. Five-star treehouse-style accommodation. Great food. Live traditional African music. And a chance to spot the Big 5.

The deal

Rooms are R5 500 per person, per night. That’s a R3000 discount from the usual R8 500 a night. That price includes all meals and drinks.

You can book 2 nights and receive a members-only discount of 50% on the second night. Or book 4 nights and enjoy your last night on us.

Based on availability, your accommodation will be upgraded at no additional charge. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members will also accumulate 9000 miles per room when booking 2 nights. Ts & Cs apply.

Book your stay. Send an email to the Reservations Team on enquiries@virginlimitededition.co.za, or phone 011 325 4405 and quote your membership number.

Ulusaba Logo with map

Active Play from Virgin Active

Active PlayGlobal obesity is a growing problem and according to reports, childhood obesity in particular is at its worst levels ever. Physical activity has a host of benefits – mental perception levels, social, physical and physiological. And to help busy families teach little ones to move like champs, Virgin Active has introduced a new fundamental movement skills programme for children aged 3 to 7 at their Club-V facilities. Called ‘Active Play’ the programme is a collaboration between the health club and Kinderkinetics at the Department of Sport Science, Stellenbosch University.

“The phase between 2-7 years old is considered the fundamental movement phase of gross motor development, says Dr Eileen Africa, Lecturer and Head of Kinderkinetics, Department of Sport Science, Stellenbosch University

Dr Africa says, “Fundamental movement skills (FMS) are important because they serve as the basis for what goes beyond. FMS are critical to establish the foundation for participation in more complex movements later in life. An active child is a happy child and a happy child becomes a healthy adult.”

“The focus of Active Play is on the development of 10 fundamental movement skills,” says Catherine Coupar, National Junior Member Manager at Virgin Active. “These include running, jumping, hopping, galloping, throwing, catching, striking, kicking, static balance and dynamic balance. Each of these fundamental movement skills has two or more activities created for them. These activities are carried out in fun, short bursts, which we are calling ‘movement moments’, to kick start the children’s skills development with us.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets the guidelines for children in order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and bone health. Children and youth aged between 5 and 17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.

Dr Africa says, “This kind of activity used to be a normal part of childhood but the time children spend on active play is limited for the following reasons: safety issues, both parents employed, smaller gardens, toys that make a difference to activity (like bicycles) are expensive, busy lifestyles and of course technology.

“Kinderkinetics,” she says, “decided to collaborate with Virgin Active on this project because it is the perfect platform to share our passion for children’s health and wellbeing. We have written the Active Play manual to help make activities in Club-V more structured and scientifically-based. We also want to make parents more aware of the type of activities that can be done to help their children.”

How it works

Club-V staff, who are qualified in early childhood development and paediatric first aid, have been fully trained and have their own equipment toolkit – including ladders, bean bags, cones, hula hoops and more as well as cue cards to effectively deliver the movement skills programme. The aim is to keep it fun, aspirational and interactive.

– Every child will get his or her own Active Play book (which stays at the club) and every time an activity is completed a tick goes onto the relevant page in their book.

– Once they have received all ticks for that activity, they receive a sticker for their book, as a sign of achievement of that movement skill.

– Once the whole book is filled up, they receive a certificate, which they take home, along with their finished book, in order to share their success with mum and dad.

Rewarding progress

“We will continue to add new activities every few months, which means the children start new books and continue to learn new activities to keep them stimulated and moving as well as becoming more proficient at these movement skills,” says Coupar. “In addition, we will also have extra movement and activity ideas for parents so that they can actively exercise and play at home with their children.”

Active Play is now available at all Club-V facilities. Look out for the poster campaign which has as its pay off line: ‘Make friends with us. We’re learning to move, the fun way.’

So if your life is busy and time for exercise is tight but you have your child’s wellbeing at heart, make Active Play your kid’s ‘exercise companion’ to ensure your kids get moving and are active. And of course, stay happy.

Get financially fit with Momentum Multiply

momentum image & LogoMultiply, Momentum’s Wellness & Rewards Programme, is all about getting you into a better space financially. Because good finances lead to positive experiences and security for you and your family.

If you’re already a member of Multiply, you know what it feels like to enjoy 80% off your Virgin Active membership fee. But don’t forget about these other great benefits:

– Multiply your Dis-Chem points up to 25%
– Travel for half the price with Mango
– Get 60% back on your life cover with Momentum
– Get up to R5400 back every year on medical aid with Momentum
– And save on Short-term insurance.

Tip: Use Multiply’s Savings Tool to see how much you could save every year on education, groceries, clothing, and more.

This month, Multiply is challenging you to start saving right now, by making use of all the great benefits you have to enjoy. If you haven’t joined yet, why not do so now and start saving. SMS ‘MULTIPLY’ to 40717, or speak to your financial adviser.

Easy food swaps for you and your family to try

redfoodSide salad instead of fries. Sparkling water instead of a sugary soda. A quick run instead of a TV series marathon. Take it one swap at a time. You’ll see the results.

10 food swaps to try

1. Boil your eggs instead of frying them. They’re just as tasty that way, make less mess, and they’re way healthier (no oil required!) Another perk? You can make them today, for breakfast tomorrow.

2. For a protein boost, choose lean meats instead of fatty ones. Think turkey and chicken, not pork and beef.

3. Snack on raw nuts instead of salted, flavoured, or coated ones. Keep this healthy snack, well, healthy, and enjoy them in their most natural state.

4. Need a coffee break? Lose the sugar – it’ll take a while to adapt but your taste buds will eventually do just that!

5. Soup can be a great way to get your kids to enjoy their veggies. Opt for tomato-based soups instead of the creamy ones for a more healthy option.

6. Skip the beer and margaritas at happy hour. If you do drink, opt for wine or spirits and add lots of ice and/or water.

7. Pan fry instead of deep fry. What’s better than a good chicken and vegetable stir-fry anyway?

8. Sweet tooth? Go for blueberries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries with your plain yoghurt for dessert. That way, you’ll get your sweet fix plus something super nutritious for your body.

9. Give the kids popcorn instead of crisps. Preferably air-popped. The less oil the better.

10. Limit eating out and rather eat at home. Even if you pick a healthy meal off the menu, there’s that horrible temptation called the bread basket. Or the side order of fries.

These are all little steps you can take to reach your body goals. They may seem small right now, but they all lead to the big changes. This whole fitness thing is a lifestyle shift, so start shifting and see the difference ASAP!

Balance food and exercise with mycheatmate

We all get thrown off track. Birthdays. Dinners. Cravings. It happens. mycheatmate can help get you back on track. How?

All you have to do is tell us how much you weigh, the food of your choice, what kind of workout you want to do, or for how long you’d like to do it. And this tool will give you recommendations based on the information you’ve given us.

Remember: it’s not all about balancing junk food with exercise. It’s about educating yourself on the energy content of food and how to burn it off. The amount of calories you burn depends on your weight, how hard you work out and how long you work out for.

The new adidas Ultraboost – in stores NOW

The new adidas ultra boostadidas is set to change the way you see running with the launch of the ultimate expression of their revolutionary boost technology, the adidas Ultraboost.

The adidas Ultraboost combines comfort and style with technology and support, thanks to the 20% more boost cushioning capsules in its sole. This running shoe delivers an unparalleled return on energy – what you put in you get out, and then some.

Through cutting edge research, the adidas Innovation Team (aIT) have created a shoe which intuitively adjusts to your stride, giving you your best and most energised run yet over hundreds of kilometres, in virtually any environment.

Visit an adidas Concept Store and try a pair on.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram using @adidasZA #ultraboost.

Your squat challenge. Are you up for it?

Your Squat ChallengeBecause this move is so beneficial to your body, no matter what your goals are, we want to challenge you to squat every day for 4 weeks, building your strength as you go. We’ll ease into it with 15 squats in the first week, and gradually progress from there to 60 a day in week 4. It’s totally doable. And if that’s too easy for you, you can add weights. You decide.

Why squats rule

A good squat works almost your entire body. Your hamstrings, your glutes, your obliques, your abs, your arms, and your back. Try squat jumps for an extra cardio boost. Training for a specific sport or event? The squat is the ultimate strength building move and is super-beneficial for all exercise. Inside the club, and out. Just add kettlebells or a barbell to increase the intensity.

How to squat the right way

Starting position: Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Your toes should face forwards.

Movement: Squat down, bending your knees, as if sitting on a chair. Your knees should be in line with your toes when you’re in the squat position. Hold for three seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat.

Tip: Pull your core tight and maintain good posture throughout the movement.

Download this nifty challenge card to keep track of your progress.

Now hit the club floor and get started with your first 15. You’ve got this.

Your goal + myvirginactive = results

14856 Computer & CellBecause just weighing yourself isn’t enough. It’s cool to have a goal weight. But there’s so much more to it than just stepping on the scale once a week.

Here’s why. Your weight will go up and down, often. And the number on the scale doesn’t include muscle mass. Which is a huge part of the story when you’re adding strength training to your routine.

So. To up your chances of goal success, break your ultimate goal down into small goals. Think of them more like targets to hit.

Use myvirginactive

You can choose a workout routine, set long and short-term goals, set commitments, break your barriers, and track your progress, all in one place: myvirginactive.

Ready to set a goal?

1. Think about it. Hard. Reconnect to the bigger picture. How important is this to you?

2. Re-evaluate. Change things up. Life happens, so adjust accordingly. If you have a bad weekend, don’t throw in the towel. Just start over. Goal setting is mostly a repetitive process.

3. Remember the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”. Get rid of all your temptations. Consider creating a pledge for yourself. It’s a great way to stay mindful of your goals and your action plan. Do what it takes.

What are your short-term goals?

Say your long-term goal is to lose weight. You can then set a short-term goal with this in mind. An example could be to drop a jean size in three months. Then, to break it down even more, you can set some commitments.

The commitments are the “how” to the short-term goals’ “why”. Some examples could be: eat five different fruits and veggies a day or run for an extra 30 minutes three times a week.

Track your progress – in and out of the club

Remember that all your movements count. Walking the dogs. A run on the beach. A Sunday hike. Even mowing the lawn. It all counts towards your goal, so track it on myvirginactive.

Take action

Think of a short-term goal you’d like to achieve. Something that will make you happy. Write it down. And remember: the more you achieve, the more motivated you’ll feel. Boom.