Everything You Need to Build Healthy Habits Now

A Boston wellness challenge demonstrates the power of wellness support and accountability in the palm of your hand to build healthy habits that last
Karyn Stonis

Get inspired, set a goal, and be accountable

During these long, cold winter months in New England, we are all tempted to freeze our fitness routines and hibernate until spring. Add on Covid restrictions, and many find our movement is even more limited. But there’s hope! The Esplanade Virtual Wellness Challenge, which took place from January 19 to February 13 this year, proved that daily inspiration and personal support helps get us moving and sticking to our wellness goals even in the depths of winter. Read on for some of our top tips from the challenge that you can incorporate into your routine!

To engage the local community, the Esplanade Association (EA) partnered with Wishroute to create the month-long virtual wellness challenge as part of their Frost Fit Winter Fitness Series Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). The Esplanade Virtual Wellness Challenge encouraged participants to take advantage of EA and BCBSMA resources (including the Charles River Esplanade, outdoor exercise course, and Bluebikes public bike rentals) and to reinvigorate their wellness routines.

Instead of traditional engagement methods such as email or social media, Wishroute engaged the community via text message with daily inspirational, healthy habit forming messaging and wellness support from an actual human (yes, an actual human!). 

Who’s In? Everyone!

The Esplanade Virtual Wellness Challenge included a broad range of participants across all age groups and fitness levels. As we always say, start where you are and start today 😉

  • Roughly 50% of participants worked from home, while the other 50% included stay at home parents, commuters, retirees, health care workers, unemployed workers, and students.  
  • At the beginning of the challenge, most participants were in need of a boost -- 60% of participants reported having “fallen off track” or were “getting the hang of staying on track” with their wellness goals

Daily Inspiration & Check-ins

During the 30-day challenge, participants received an inspirational text each morning and then an evening check-in asking how they prioritized their health that day. Whether it was encouraging participants to find a park bench on the Esplanade to practice mindfulness, explore the Esplanade’s 5 miles of paths on a walk or bike, or inspire them with a recipe for Meatless Monday, Wishroute focused on and celebrated all aspects of self-care throughout the 30 days. The evening check-ins encouraged participants to text back, whether it was a great day or not. On tough days, Wishroute provided judgment-free support to help them through any road bumps and make a plan for the next day. When participants completed a wellness-related activity, they earned a point towards swag! Here’s a taste of some of our most well liked tips! 

  • End your week with a little relaxation Sarah 🙏 Press play on this 5-minute meditation to transition to the weekend with a more relaxed head space
  • Good morning Chris! All this talk about getting outdoors reminds us to give thanks to the environment with a Meatless Monday meal 🍲 Whip yourself up a plant-based Buddha bowl for lunch - it's a Wishroute team favorite 😋 
  • Need a Saturday plan? Take a ride on a Bluebike with a free 24-hour pass. Download the app at bluebikes.com/app ❄️
  • If you're planning your fuel for the week today, take some inspo from the Esplanade’s bunnies & squirrels and make your meals high in veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds 🥜🍎  We love this DIY granola bar recipe to power your next outdoor workout 
  • Whether you made a resolution to volunteer more or are looking for feel-good acts of service, read on about plogging! It's an any-season volunteer activity you can do solo or with a group that just requires some gloves, trash bags, and care for your community 🤝 

And, Success!

90% of participants remained engaged throughout the month-long challenge, with 70% of participants reporting a healthy activity 3+ days per week. The power of Wishroute's methodology is that it’s simple, achievable, and human. Did you know that when you feel accountable to another human, your chance of success increases 6.5 x over

Check out these results!

  • 95% of participants reported that Wishroute had a positive impact on their mindfulness, healthy eating, and exercise routine. 
  • 94% of participants who reported at the beginning of the challenge that they had “fallen off track” with their wellness goals reported being on track post-challenge. 
  • 90% of participants reported that the challenge improved their mental and emotional wellbeing.  

Hear from participants first hand

“This is just what I needed to get me back on track and held me accountable. I looked forward to the texts each day and at the end of the work day when I didn’t feel like exercising I would get up and move because I knew I would be reporting back to Wishroute later!”
“In these weird times, external validation has been more helpful than I can say. Wishroute does an exceptional job of combining ideas and encouragement, mixing up activities and suggestions, and making positive change feel possible”

Wishroute meets people where they are and provides wellness support that builds healthy habits by: 

  • Making it Simple - Wellness support is delivered over text, which is already a part of your daily life. No need to learn anything new!
  • Making it Achievable - With daily inspiration and goal setting, Wishroute makes it easy for you to build healthy and sustainable habits 
  • Making it Human - with 2-way texting you get the support and judgment-free accountability you need to be successful

Making it work for you

The positive impact of the Esplanade Virtual Wellness Challenge on participant health and wellbeing demonstrates the power of wellness accountability and support in the palm of your hand. Consider how the power of accountability can help you.  Most people don’t have the support they need to help them accomplish their goals so if you’re not feeling on track, you’re not alone, and we can help. 

Our support is as simple as: what should I focus on today? How do I squeeze a workout in 10 min? How do I remember to prioritize my health when I’m so busy? Who can I turn to for a judgement-free push to keep going? 

Wishroute makes wellness work for you and your unique goals. Success is defined by each individual and we support you every step of the way, day by day, text by text 🙌

We want to hear from you! Have you overcome obstacles with your wellness routine this winter? What’s working for you? What’s not? 

Sign up for our free trial here and let us know!

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