The evening that I discovered WeStretch is still clearly etched in my mind. I had finally found a fitness app that was truly flexible, one that would adapt to my needs and my limitations and grow with me. I’m writing this to share what a year of stretching has been like for me.
A year ago, starting my journey with WeStretch.
About a year ago, I remember leaving a voicemail message for the developer, because I couldn’t initially get WeStretch's audio to work. I didn’t expect to hear anything for at least a day or two, since it was outside of normal business hours. Imagine my surprise when 10 minutes later, I got a call from Karen Willsey, the founder and CEO of We Bananas and the inventor of WeStretch herself!
An hour later, I was not only convinced that this was the app I have been looking for years, but I realized that Karen had hit on something brilliant. Daily stretching is something that almost everyone needs to do and would benefit from.
At first, I was on fire! Within a few days I was stretching for at least 40 minutes a day. Then, I started to struggle. I went from regularly stretching with WeStretch for just shy of an hour to occasionally only doing three minutes a day.
My fear was that I would give it up entirely, as I had with so many other attempts to regain my mobility and get back into decent physical shape.
Yet, I surprised myself when I pushed myself and kept going. Regardless of whether I did ten minutes, three minutes, or a full half hour- I kept going. WeStretch is adaptable and Ada is friendly and encouraging enough that I can make myself stay with it- even when almost everything else is too much.
I was able to stretch, even when life got hard.
Even during the days and weeks when my depression and anxiety were so bad that I couldn’t shower for 3 days at a time, I never missed a day of stretching. That is an incredible accomplishment for me this past year. When you’re at the point where you literally want to crawl into a hole and die, but you can still do your daily stretch routine, that is powerful.
This past year with WeStretch has been a fantastic success. I have proved to myself and my loved ones, that I can stick with this stretching program. I am taking control of my physical health despite the depression, anxiety, and emotional stress that batter me relentlessly.
The overall results of my year of stretching have been an improved range of motion, reduced back pain, fewer bouts of depression and shorter periods of negative spiraling.
What I learned about WeStretch, during my year of stretching.
What does that mean for you? Simply that WeStretch helps you to improve your flexibility, it’s a fun type of exercise, and it offers you numerous benefits. You don’t have to stretch for the same length, at the same time or in the same place each day. WeStretch is flexible enough to adapt to your changing health and circumstances, regardless of how different that looks every day.
Karen mentioned that many people struggle to understand exactly what WeStretch is. I’ve worked on how to explain that for some time, focusing on technical definitions and detailed explanations, but now I realize that isn’t what people need to know to understand WeStretch.
Think about someone who is aware that they need to make changes to improve their physical health, or regain their mobility and range of motion, but has been unable to do so despite many attempts. WeStretch is a tool that anyone can use, be motivated by to break that cycle of attempt, failure, discouragement and regression.
The routines are safe and WeStretch can be customized right down to the individual joints and poses. This allows you to create a routine that works for you, despite health challenges or physical limitations. Your virtual instructor, Ada, is always positive and encouraging, and I find the app quite fun! The AI Ensures that over time, you work all muscle groups, and you always get a different stretching routine.
Start what you are capable with and persist through.
Karen has noticed that many people try a single routine and then stop using the app. Perhaps that has to do with the general perception of what it means to get in shape. The media seems to portray this image where if we want to get in shape, we have to hit the gym and work out until it hurts.
You don’t have to push yourself beyond what you’re capable of when you’re first starting out, since that often leads to injury and burnout.
Just as someone trains to be able to run a marathon, regaining our mobility and range of motion and getting physically active after being sedentary isn’t instantaneous. Like any significant undertaking, becoming physically healthy requires preparation and training. WeStretch has the flexibility to work and grow with you as you pursue this goal.
Stretching encourages and prepares our bodies to become more active. Incorporating stretching with WeStretch into your daily routine can help you to get back into shape, restore you range of motion, and reduce pain.
I have cerebral palsy, I walk with crutches, and I have a sedentary job. In addition, I suffer from depression and anxiety. If a year of stretching with WeStretch has helped me, it can certainly help you.
Guest written by Chris Torrance.
If you’re looking for more, be sure to read about Chris’ start with WeStretch. Chris has guest-written two other blogs for WeStretch as well: When Life Gives You Lemons- The Value of Routine and Boost Your Mood- Get Rid of That Lockdown Frown.