Our features editor Frances Leach reviewed a fully digital health and fitness site and this is what she thought...
Until this year I was a self confessed fitness-phobe, I would swim on occasion in a vague attempt to keep myself healthy, but for all intents and purposes I wasn’t what you would consider to be someone who enjoyed ‘working out’.
Then when the country was thrown into lockdown, I decided to give my life an overhaul and get ‘into’ fitness in a way I never have before. Never one to admit when I am wrong, I ended up thoroughly eating my words when it came to regular exercise. So when the lovely ladies over at Spa-Porter offered me the chance to review their all encompassing ‘Home Wellness Studio’ my interest was throughly piqued.
What makes Spa-Porter special is that it is an entirely virtual wellness platform, perfect for those looking to keep an eye on their fitness and mental well-being over lockdown. Most fitness platforms tend to focus on either cardio or muscular fitness regimes, some offer guidance on diet but very rarely do they have entire sections dedicated to wellness.
Founders Soraya Radford and Bryony Deery have a combined 20 years experience within the beauty industry. They explain, "We are not only a virtual workout platform, we are a wellness hub providing you with all of the tools and more that you would get from a studio at a much more affordable rate."
The business started as mobile beauty company back in 2018 and focused on corporate wellness, with some of their biggest clients including Barclays and LinkedIn (to name just a few.) Shortly after the pandemic hit and the girls realised they needed to completely pivot the business.
"The Coronavirus pandemic pushed us to go virtual. We realised so many people are going struggling with their mental health and not being able to access fitness classes." Explained co-founder Bryony Deery, "We wanted to help our clients with their mental and physical needs and try to turn this terrible year into a positive, so we thought let's make this accessible to everyone."
Working from home means I spend all day on my laptop, so having the opportunity to open a tab and spend the next fifteen minutes in a guided meditation workshop if I'm feeling a little too stressed is a godsend.
The wellness journal is like a specially curated folder of goodness. From recipes of gluten free banana pancakes when you’re stumped for brunch plans in lockdown, or tea ceremonies to help you relax and reflect - Spa-Porter has everything needed for virtual mindfulness.
Each week I am emailed a weekly schedule, with a suggested mix of workouts, meditations and wellness articles to read at leisure. It’s like having a holistic personal assistant to take you through the week.
On the fitness side of things, Spa-Porter brings its principles of wellness into digital workouts. Instead of loud and brash cardio exercises that leave your ears ringing and thighs aching, there's a selection of relaxing yoga, pilates and low impact routines to soothe you into your week. The founders Soraya and Bryony believe that you do not need to put lots of stress on the body to achieve your goals. They want their subscribers to look forward to each session and believe that if you are enjoying your workouts you will be more likely to remain committed, consistent and see long lasting and meaningful results.
With the ongoing issue of Coronavirus and lockdown, working out in a busy gym is either not an option or can leave you feeling concerned and uncomfortable. And that's where a virtual option becomes attractive.
Spa-Porter removes the need to put yourself at risk by bringing the studio to wherever you are. The multimedia site allows you to play meditation ceremonies through your smart-speaker, play Pilates workouts through your television and read their curated wellness articles on your phone.
The videos are all different lengths, so perfect for an early morning wake up before you hit the (virtual) office or a late evening cleanse before you go to sleep. The instructors are calm and soothing - imagine the feeling of being on a retreat, all day every day in the comfort of your home. It’s bliss.
Spa-Porter is about loving yourself, your body and your mind all through the power of technology.
There’s no shaming or shouting when it comes to keeping fit, instead what it offers is guidance, care and genuine kindness. Which at the moment is more than welcome.
Membership is £20 per month or £200 per year. spa-porter.com
Written by Frances Leach
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