We Tried Caravan Wellness, the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Tool for Self-Care
At the top of our self-care priority list this week? Meditate for ten minutes every morning, give a new Pilates workout a whirl and finish that short story we’ve been working on for months. But before we know it, real life gets in the way, and it all slides to the back burner. Story of our lives.
So this week, the PureWow editorial team tried out Caravan Wellness—a magical hybrid of ClassPass, Peloton and Headspace—to help us devote more time to exercise and self-care. In a nutshell, Caravan is a subscription-based, online hub of curated exercise, dance, meditation and productivity courses. The classes are taught by a variety of handpicked teachers from across the U.S., range in length from 2 to 30 minutes and can be played anywhere with internet access (we’re looking at you, gal who thinks she’s “too busy” to do a workout today).
The One Who Needed a Midday Escape
Lauren Gniazdowski, our editorial operations director, is definitely one of those aforementioned “too busy” gals, so we immediately armed her with a Caravan membership. “Confession: I am not great about taking breaks during the workday,” she tells us. “I usually rely on afternoon coffee for a pick-me-up (which never really picks me up, TBH). So when I saw that Caravan had a whole section of courses to increase productivity, I thought, why not give it a shot? I cued up the two-minute ‘Shake It Off’ course, grabbed my headphones and found an open conference room (with some privacy) to try it out. Guess what? It helped! Sure, I felt a tad silly at first, but I got an energy boost. So don't be surprised if you see me cutting loose around 3:00 p.m. from now on—or diving into one of the other options, like power posing or breath control. Plus, a site like this is great for me because sometimes I do need a little visual motivation versus just reading about things I should be doing to get my energy up when I feel sluggish.”
The One Who Didn’t Have Enough Time to Hit the Gym
Next, PureWow Associate Editor (and resident marathon runner) Abby Hepworth gave Caravan a whirl, focusing mostly on the site’s fitness videos. “It’s great for those lazy days when you don't want to go to the gym or don't have that much time,” she says. “The short videos are super convenient, and I like that they're not ridiculously high-energy—the instructors feel like normal, real people as opposed to those super peppy crazy-toned individuals you usually see. (Not gonna lie, I love Anthony!) Overall, the moves are simple, but not boring and would definitely be effective if you practiced them regularly. I really appreciate that there are super-short quick videos that show you exactly how to do the moves they use later in circuits.”
The One Who Wanted to Try Something New
Looking for a new challenge, Associate Food Editor Katherine Gillen dove deep into the Pilates offerings. Her thoughts? “I love that the videos are on the shorter side, so you can easily fit in a 15-minute workout before breakfast, or when you get home from work,” she says. “And the videos themselves are easy to follow—although the skill level varied by video, most of the offerings were in my skill zone, aka beginner. I think people looking for a challenge might need to look elsewhere, but I would definitely use this in place of a workout subscription where you have to attend a class in person, simply for the convenience.”
The One Dealing with Burnout
Wellness Director Lindsay Champion focused on the meditation, creativity and productivity section of the site, as she had recently been struggling with burnout and writer’s block. “I love the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of this video collection,” she explains.“First, I found myself clicking on a five-minute ‘Meditation for Creativity’ video, which immediately put me into a peaceful and positive state of mind. That led me to ‘Meditative Journaling,’ then a ‘Mid-Day Restorative’ meditation, and finally, the fabulously named visualization exercise, ‘Glitter Bomb Your Body.’ I intuitively clicked on videos I felt my soul needed that day, and 20 minutes later, felt filled to the brim with positive, calm and creative energy. And glitter.”
Caravan Wellness has something for everyone, and all four PureWow team members who tried it felt that it greatly improved their week, helping them stick to their workout goals and stay calm, centered and energized. Is it a complete substitute for a traditional gym membership? Until the collection offers longer videos that account for a variety of skill levels, maybe not. But is it a fantastic, convenient way to sneak a little extra self-care into our packed schedules? Absolutely, definitely, positively.