Fitness On The Road For Our App Generation
Handstand App’s founder shares how her app helps you stay fit while on the go
Active travel has become increasingly popular within the past decade. Yoga retreats, cycling itineraries and extreme adventures tempt travelers to immerse themselves in a new world, while either jump starting a new program or switching up a mundane routine. But what about those who just want to stay active and well during a work trip or personal vacation?
One of the latest and most buzzworthy apps that’s emerged to solve this problem is Handstand App — an app that allows you to train to the best of your needs while on the road, as much as it does while at home. In partnering with W Hotels in Boston, Handstand has recently taken the next step to influencing travelers to stay fit while on the road and its founder Tiffany Hakimianpour says they are just getting started.
“We want Handstand to be your one stop for all your wellness and fitness needs. The goal is for it to be helpful, not just something out there to use,” she says. “I think that if change is a constant, and people are different and constantly changing — their fitness and wellness would and should change to support it, too.”
Hakimianpour first recognized the need for her platform at the age of 23 years old. A sprained ankle and hectic lifestyle pushed her into practicing yoga as an alternative to running or boxing; sports which no longer suited her lifestyle or body’s needs. With this recognition came Hakimianpour’s realization that if this was applicable for her, there must be others out there struggling to find the best workout for their body. So, she founded Handstand App as a way to foster our on-demand society’s needs, creating a way for fitness to fit your life, and to fit into a user’s daily life, no matter where that may be.
As a frequent traveler, I caught up with Hakimianpour to learn why Handstand is so perfect for the active traveler, the motivation behind it all and how she sees Handstand shaping the future of fitness.
What do you think is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling? And why is it so important?
I think the best way is to keep some sort of routine in place so your body can stay ‘grounded’ and as normal as possible on vacation. A lot of our internal ‘clocks’ and systems get thrown off on planes and while traveling, so to have a routine even as simple as waking up, brushing your teeth, going for a 10 minute walk, or a workout at the same time every day, can help maintain your systems, clocks, and your best health while traveling. Also — drinking lots of water helps.
How does your app, Handstand App relay this importance?
What we really focus on is making Handstand fit into your daily life no matter where that is for you — as well as making it fit your life. We have a new partnership with the W Hotels in which your reservations come with free classes put on by Handstand right in the hotel’s studios — and every day of the week. The best thing about these classes are (besides being on the house and right downstairs) is that they’re built for you — the traveler.
There’s a session called ‘Travel Reboot’ aimed to help you reset, stretch, and acclimate your body to the new time zone, location, and place you’re in. Through the releasing movement in this class, you can reconnect to your best you and take on your day in a positive way, wherever you are and whatever happens. To have someone there to show you the way always helps, particularly when you’re somewhere new or uncomfortable and struggling to find a routine.
Tell me more about your partnership with W Hotels. How does their mission align with what you’re doing at Handstand?
Our missions are tied to serving the customer in all ways, like their famous “Whatever Whenever” way — for us it’s our on demand, any trainer, any time, any place or method kind of motto. And now, with health and fitness being so much at the forefront of our lives, our partnership sets a new standard for people and hotels included. We’re saying together: Your health and wellness should not be once and done — that’s weird. It should flow and almost be the constant in your life so you can handle whatever else is going on. Why stop doing a little every day to make yourself your best when you’re traveling?
With adventure and active travel on the rise, how do you think Handstand fits in with the types of travelers taking these trips?
I think this explorer-type was, and is, really our base and core customer — the ones trying something new and different is what we did when we created Handstand and what we’ll continue to.
As a core, we offer a chance to try what’s new and hot in terms of wellness in a new city — the session types are different, the trainer changes (but is still part of this huge trainer community the user loves), and it’s great to know you can keep it consistent. You can book a new trainer in the city you’re in for a run and tour the city, or see what types of workouts they’re uploading and offering, what the city is preaching in terms of wellness, and what the trainers are streaming live that you might like. You can connect to trainers and pop into a session at Central Park, or whatever quenches your adventurous thirst!
What about in terms of wellness travel, day with yoga retreats and detox trips?
These are certainly another offering that will pop up soon — all our trainers and instructors create and setup these trips and we can’t wait to offer them to our growing client base — they’re essential and sort of like mini vacations for yourself and for your health. They’ll kind of be our version of Airbnb’s ‘experiences’ but with our leading trainers and instructors.
As a traveler, I’m gone for weeks on end — losing gym money, and usually months of results in weeks — how does Handstand cater to these clients who are constantly on the go?
Our aim is to recommend wellness activities, trainers, videos, audios that will make you feel at home and connected to yourself even when you haven’t been home in awhile. To have that in your pocket is a lifesaver if you may be struggling to keep yourself on track and to not have to worry about cancelling or wasting money is a huge load off, too. It’s an affordable yet luxurious, and connected experience that helps you feel more at home and healthy when you’re on the go.
How do you maintain your wellness/healthy lifestyle routine while on the road?
I do a few things actually — and if I don’t do these things, I can’t really function at my best. I definitely make sure to pack comfortable workout gear and most times my yoga mat (or buy one there depending on how much space I have). And to really set me in place when I’m there, I wake up earlier on the first morning to set my wellness “me” routine for the rest of the trip.
I’ll put on my workout attire, open Handstand if I’m feeling like a video, wanting to go to a local session, book a trainer, or set out on a jog or do a yoga sequence on my own. I’ll choose one and do it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then I’ll find somewhere after to stretch and sit and collect my thoughts in my journal — usually writing what comes to mind or five things I’m grateful for. I really need to have that alone time in the morning when no one else is up to be with myself and my body. It also helps me ‘set’ my day up nicely so whatever the day brings, I feel more stable, situated, and ready to handle it.