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Levison Wood

British explorer Levison Wood teams up with Virgin Active to help gym-goers develop a renewed sense of adventure

20 May 2015

Highly respected explorer is founding member of Virgin Active’s newly created Discovery Lab bringing innovation to the world of exercise.

British explorer and star of Channel 4’s Walking the Nile Levison Wood is joining forces with Virgin Active Health Club as the first ever ambassador and member of its brand new Discovery Lab.

Launching this month, the Virgin Active Discovery Lab is a collective of top fitness experts who are all committed to pushing the boundaries of how people work-out and bringing new innovations and discoveries into the health club environment.

Keen to encourage people to “always discover”, seasoned explorer Levison’s role within the Discovery Lab will be to inspire people to incorporate adventures – both big and small - into their everyday lives. How Levison prepares both physically and mentally for his expeditions will be brought to life through the creation of innovative new programming that will be rolled out within Virgin Active Clubs.

Levison will play an essential role in the ongoing development of ideas coming out of the Discovery Lab, combining his unique experience and thinking with those of Virgin Active’s expert innovation and fitness team. He will also play a part in the development of the health club’s first ever Altitude Studio that is due to open this summer, a space that will transform how people prepare for performance at altitude or for those who want to get fitter.

Levison, who added his name to the long list of Great British explorers by walking 4,000 miles along the world’s longest river, will be aiming to shake-up Virgin Active members’ experiences by bringing his sense of adventure to new products and classes.

He comments: “Exploration is at the heart of the human psyche especially in us Britons who have a long history of discovery - it’s in our blood. It’s surprising that today so many Britons can’t remember the last time they did something new.

“I believe that anyone can discover new ways to stay active no matter their level of fitness, their age or where they live. It’s about being brave enough to try something new and not getting stuck in a rut; finding out your own limits and testing them. When they put their mind to it, most people can achieve more than they can imagine. I am really looking forward to working with Virgin Active to inspire people to find their inner sense of discovery!”

As part of the collaboration, Levison has shared his four ‘principles of discovery’ with Virgin Active’s experts. These principles will inform how new products are created through the Discovery Lab, and ensure that a sense of discovery and adventure is woven through all of its innovations.

Levison says: “When I think about discovery, four things are always at the front of my mind – preparation, inspiration, focus and keeping a sense of adventure. Being prepared, both physically and mentally, is essential to laying solid foundations for what lies ahead. It’s important wherever you go to seek inspiration from everything around you, the people, the places or indeed inspiring others.

“It’s vital to set yourself achievable goals. Sometimes, when you look at the big picture it can be quite daunting so I often suggest breaking down the overall goal into smaller chunks that can be tackled day by day.

“And finally, always try to keep a sense of adventure and maintain an element of surprise in everything you do. Above all else though, have fun because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to finish it!”

Andy Birch, Head of Fitness at Virgin Active comments: “We are committed to being at the forefront of innovation in our industry, not just to create an incredible member experience but to really push the boundaries of how we work-out.

“Having Levison join our Discovery Lab is key to this. We want to bring his experiences and spirit of adventure into the health club environment and help create unique products and activities for members to discover both inside and outside our clubs. Ultimately, we want people to lead happier more active lives, and we think that discovery and adventure play a core role in this.”

Ready to join?