Editor’s Note: “Shaped By COVID-19” is a weekly series designed to help you stay active while you’re homebound with workouts from some of Denver’s leading fitness and wellness professionals. Got a fitness tip or favorite studio? Email us at email@example.com.
The Gym: StretchLab
Year Founded: 2019
The Trainer: Dina Silverman, owner of StretchLab’s Cherry Creek and Cherry Hills locations
Favorite COVID-19-appropriate Rest Day Activity: “Walking with my headsets and listening to books on audible. My life is normally, so crazy I don’t have time for long leisurely walks.” Now, Silverman says she heads out without a destination in mind and just enjoys strolling.
We all know Coloradans are good at exercise—at least according to the too-many-to-list “fittest state” accolades bestowed upon us by the likes of exercise.com and others. We are not as good at the recovery part, however. (Which might explain why Colorado also boasts one of the highest densities of orthopedic surgeons in the country.) And we are probably even less good at it right now. “People are either sitting too much,” says Dina Silverman, owner of StretchLab locations in Cherry Creek and Cherry Hills, “or they’re doing things that are different or new and they’re really pushing themselves.” We’re looking at you, new Peloton bike and universal gym owners, and you, amateur backyard landscapers.
That’s where StretchLab comes in. The franchise—which debuted in Colorado in 2019 with Silverman’s Cherry Creek location—aims to help people properly recover from their activities with focused, 25- or 50-minute stretching sessions. Yes, you read that right: up to almost an hour of stretching. “Most people don’t have the patience to do it long enough or efficiently,” Silverman says. With the help of StretchLab’s flexologists, though, you don’t actually have to.
Before COVID-19, all you had to do was show up for your one-one-on session, and StretchLab’s trained staff would ensure proper technique (and time) using proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation—essentially assisted stretching that requires you to contract and relax various muscles. “Flexologists work head to toe, including things like wrists and ankles and things that people overlook,” Silverman says. Staff track mobility over time to help clients meet their goals.
Now that the novel coronavirus has us all locked up—both in our abodes but also in terms of our bodies—those same flexologists are providing virtual one-on-one sessions and a personalized weekly stretching regimen. They’re also leading livestream group classes—typically about 12 per week—focused on different areas of the body. Classes can be paid for individually or $59 gets you unlimited access for a month. (Contact StretchLab for details.)
While StretchLab can’t provide the same assisted stretches it did in person, the 25- or 50- minute classes can help keep your bodies (and brains) limber while we wait out COVID-19. And as stay-at-home measures continue to lift, StretchLab will be looking to reopen—probably May 30—to clients who are comfortable coming back into the studio. “The goal is to keep people moving and help them be as mobile as they can be,” Silverman says. And if fewer clients in the rigorously cleaned studio still doesn’t feel right to you, not to worry. StretchLab will continue its virtual sessions, too. After all, Silverman says, “Something is better than nothing.”
Workout Type: Stretching
Muscle Focus: Full-body
Duration: 25 minutes
The Workout: If the recent spate of warm weather had you trading at-home gym workouts for yard work, you’ll especially appreciate this session, dedicated to getting your whole body unkinked from all the shoveling and hauling and planting and weeding. With easy-to-follow instructions, soothing music, and moves that—if you’ve been inside a gym or yoga studio anytime in the past 10 years—will feel familiar, you might just even end up doing it twice.