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From figures to fitness

Super sporty but also great with numbers, a young accountant’s dream of running a fitness business proves living your true passion, really does add up.


“I always wanted to have a job that felt more like a hobby and never really saw my future as sitting at a desk all day,” says Olivia, a qualified Reformer Pilates instructor.

At the start of the year, the 28-year-old said goodbye to her corporate career and launched Grounded Pilates, upstairs in the lofty light-filled studio at 150 Office Road in Merivale.

A friend thought up the befitting name of Grounded Pilates, using Olivia’s unique surname Groundwater, which hails from Scotland’s Orkney Isles.

“I fell in love with pilates in 2017 when I was an Accountant at Covent Garden in London for a global media company. The highlight of my day was running across the street at lunchtime for a Reformer Pilates session. I just loved the atmosphere and the workout.”

Olivia then returned to Auckland from London. While continuing to work in the finance industry she also completed the STOTT Reformer Pilates course and frequented pilates studios.

Determined not to postpone her dream life, she hunted for the perfect space back in her hometown of Christchurch.

She grew up near Dunsandel, then as boarder at Christchurch Girls High, she played netball for Canterbury and loved volleyball, basketball and everything health and fitness.

“I always enjoyed the business side of things as well. My partner is a banker, so starting my own fitness business seemed right, and combines everything I know and love, and I hope to expand in the future. I’ve noticed since the rebuild, everyone is open to trying out new things here in Christchurch.”

She says Reformer Pilates is popular overseas and is gaining traction in Canterbury. Reformer Pilates helps us build a stronger core, improves posture, mood, body shape, muscle tone and increases flexibility. “It’s strength building of lean muscle with a workout that doesn’t leave you exhausted. It really works your core strength.”

Olivia has invested in high-quality machines made in USA and says they are amazing to work with.Pilates was founded by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1920s and incorporates the mind as well as the body.

“Your mind has to be fully engaged throughout the whole workout. It’s great for the brain and body co-ordination, and for all ages. So far the youngest is 18 and the oldest in her 70s.

“We spend so much time hunched over our phones, laptops and steering wheels these days; pilates is the perfect antidote to help us correct our postures and put our shoulders back!”

The upstairs studio is everything she envisioned – high ceilings, exposed beams, light painted brick, and fresh air, and a separate changing room.

“The regular class sizes are small, just six people. Classes are all run by me at this stage, so I am able to give them all my personal attention. Everyone has been so friendly – it really doesn’t feel like I’m at work!“

Metropol has five Grounded Pilates sessions to give away to a lucky reader. To enter head to the Metropol Facebook page.


Put your back into it!

Approaching life with a back that lets you do what you want, when you want to, is something none of us can take for granted. In fact, up to 80 percent of us will suffer from back pain at some points and it affects not just mobility, but also mood.


A Muscle People Physiotherapist demonstrates some of the Dynamic Spines exercises


Luckily, the team at Muscle People understands how core strength is a foundation stone of fitness without injury and a pain-free back.

To strengthen the core which, in turn, supports the strength and healing of the spine, the team of physiotherapists at Muscle People has developed a programme of therapeutic exercise classes called Dynamic Spines.

The classes are now available at all Muscle People clinic, including Wigram Skies.

Each course consists of eight one-hour sessions, including exercises to take home and complete to get the most out of the programme.

As well as the medical and wellbeing benefits there is an enjoyable social aspect to Dynamic Spines.

Limited numbers mean you receive higher one-on-one attention from your physiotherapist instructor within each class as you work to your individual diagnosis and ability, but you also get to share the challenges and fun within a group setting.

The Dynamic Spine classes are run at two levels: the first level is about learning to locate and strengthen your core through dynamic and functional exercises, while the second level progresses these skills further.

Before enrolling in a Dynamic Spines course, clients are assessed by one of the team to ensure the classes are going to be the best approach for their issues.

“Our team wants to know that participants will see real results from the classes, before they make the commitment to the programme,” Laurie Moore, Director and Physiotherapist at Muscle People says.

Each course begins with low impact exercises which gradually build in intensity as participants progress.

Classes can include pilates-focused exercises and working out on the Oov – a fun, odd looking piece of equipment that activates core stabilising muscles while gently extending the spine.

“People enrol in our courses through a number of routes,” Laurie says.

“Because Dynamic Spine courses are designed and instructed by physiotherapists, they are available as treatment through the ACC system. We receive referrals from back specialists when clients need to strengthen their core before treatment, or post-surgical clients and, of course, we have private clients who want to address back pain, mobility and reverse a gradual decline in core strength.”

To find out more about Dynamic Spines, phone Muscle People on 0800 027 194.


What’s happening in North Canterbury?

North Canterbury is putting on exciting events to round off summer in 2020. Everyone is heading north for the fresh air, fun times and family get togethers.



Guy Cater Comedian Magician and Hypnotist
22 February
Head to Rangiora for some hilarious stand-up comedy and hypnotist talent at the Rangiora RSA this week. The show starts at 7:30pm at the Rangiora RSA. Tickets $25.

Wellbeing Festival
29 February
Even bigger than last year, the Wellbeing Festival offers healthy new experiences and activities, from yoga and Tai Chi demonstrations to sampling of delicious fare. Invest in wellbeing. Head to Kaiapoi Food Forest, on the corner of Cass and Meadow Streets from 10am to 3pm.
For details contact the Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust on 03 327 0066.

The Philippines comes to North Canterbury
29 February
Cultural events celebrating the diversity of the community will enlighten Waimakariri in 2020. Beginning the celebrations is the exciting exhibitions and presentations of traditional dance, music and food of the Philippines. The free event is from 11am to 3pm at Rangiora Town Hall Cinema.
Email or phone 0800 965 468. Bookings are essential.

Miscellaneous – an Art Exhibition
29 February to March 8
Three local artists – Jan Campbell, Nikki Parker and Mandy Palmer will showcase a collection of their artworks, aptly entitled Miscellaneous at The Brick Mill’s exhibition room, 1473 Main North Road, Waikuku from February 29 to March 8. Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, Saturdays and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Ashley River Ramble
1 March
Get a group together for a fun run, walk or cycle 12 kilometres along the Ashley-Rakahuri River – from Waikuku Beach to Ashley. Registration is from 8:30am for a 9am start, with spot prizes and refreshments at the Rangiora end of the Ashley River Picnic Grounds. All proceeds go to Koru Care Christchurch.
Contact the Rangiora Lions Club 03 310 6102 or 021 312 230.

Kaiapoi River Carnival and Boat Show
1 March
Jet boats, dragon boats, raft races, jet skis and classic boats are just some of the on-water action, including fun for the kids such as bumper boats and bouncy castles from 10am-3pm on Kaiapoi River. For information email

Swannanoa country fair
1 March
A fun day out with children’s rides, games, farming demonstrations, sheep shearing, gumboot throwing, craft and trade stalls, a plant stall, white elephant bargains, classic cars and fabulous food. From 10am to 3pm at Swannanoa Domain, $5 adult and children are free.

Kaiapoi Fun Run
8 March
Whether it’s 5km or 10km, the fun run starts at 9am at Kaiapoi Borough School, Raven Quay, with spot prizes. Tickets can be purchased from the Kaiapoi i-site or on the day.


Sports Luxe: Leisure-wear’s cool new makeover

Comfortable, classy and practical while still being gorgeous and glamorous – the luxe sportswear style is less trend and more lifestyle. It is the second skin of healthy active people with multi-faceted lives, who also adore fashion and femininity. Putting it together perfectly is the goal post. Is an outfit truly luxe or lackadaisical? We explore the rules to rock this racy ensemble.




  1. Sneak it in
    Flat sneakers – there’s no need to unlace when bounding into the boardroom.

    Sneakers with flirty summer dresses through to long maxi skirts all add bounce to our stride.

    Note: sneakers with track pants are straight sports girl, so beautify the bottom half to sporty-luxe them up.

    Black or white are a wardrobe staple to pair with most outfits.

    However, pick a complementary or contrasting colour, metallic or embellishment for even more kick-ass cool.

  2. Sport a pair of heels
    Wearing designer track pants?

    They desire a cute pair of heels to take them to Hollywood heights. It’s all about juxtaposition!

    Pointy toes peeping out from track pant hems is relaxed attitude. It is about blurring the lines of leisurewear.

  3. Change it up
    Pair an edgy over-sized jacket with slinky bike shorts.

    Baggy tops with baggy bottoms are lax rather than luxe, so pair a fitted top with a floaty pant, or over-sized sweater with tight tapered trackies.

  4. Crop the top
    Bare midriffs have made a re-appearance – from 80s crop t-shirts to gym-style racer-backs sporting the latest logos and feminine bra tops.

    Layer under a loose or fitting jazzy jacket, t-shirt or summery coat.

  5. Material girl
    It’s time to give the grey marle of yesterday a new decade onceover.

    Exciting new trends in materials keep luxe-lovers even more cool and comfortable – and strides ahead in the fashion stakes.

    From a luminescent track-pant stripe to an all-over shimmery ensemble, from jersey to neoprene.

    There is stretchy, flexible, breathable textures in everything from pearlescent to high sheen.

  6. Comfort is queen
    The goal is to be eye-catching, but the reason we are secretly in love with luxe is the comfy, cosy feeling we don’t want to change out of.

    A pair of Lorna Jane track pants, that feel silky soft and buttery are worth every dollar.

    Fitting and stretchy means they won’t linger on the wardrobe side-lines.

    Even natural-based fabrics are designed these days with flattering but fitting flex.

  7. Keep the cool to look cooler
    Along with bare midriffs, perforated materials and edgy laser cut-out designs are so hot right now.

    That extra airflow has the bonus of keeping us from overheating as we dash about our day.

  8. The right recipe
    Tempting – but head to toe super-sporty luscious luxe is just a tad too tempest.

    It’s easy enough though to tone it to perfection with a mix of textures and an item or two from our current fashion staples.

  9. Dress it up dress it down
    From the collecting the kids to dinner and dancing – transformer luxe is easy as.

    A blazer with rolled up sleeves, belts, handbags, bling and scarlet lippy – take them on, or off.

    A Wonder Woman quick change and it’s off to the next mission looking a million dollars.


Exercise: the new health prescription: Freedom Health

From chronic low back pain to mental health, exercise has been shown to be a highly effective ‘prescription’ for many health conditions. We spoke to Cath Julius, Clinical Director at Freedom Health Physio and Pilates, about how you can enjoy the benefits of exercise too.



So if exercise is so effective, why do so many prefer to take medicine over exercise? “There are many barriers to getting started on a new exercise routine,” Freedom Health Clinical Director Cath Julius says. “But most come down to one thing – fear. Aside from the fear of embarrassment or uncertainty, people with a history of illness or injury are naturally quite worried that exercising may do more harm than good.”

The best way to combat this is to ensure you are under the care of someone you can trust. “At Freedom Health, our Pilates and Rehab Programmes are all supervised by highly experienced physiotherapists, so you know you are with someone who fully understands your body and your health.

“Movement changes lives. When people begin with a long held fear that movement may hurt, or that they can’t achieve certain movements, it is literally life changing to show them that this is not the case. Our clients are of all ages, body shapes and conditions. The confidence they gain from their exercise spills over into all other aspects of their lives. It is inspirational to watch and a privilege to be a part of.”

Keep doing the things you love – for life. Phone Freedom Health Physiotherapy & Pilates on 03 355 6699 to learn more.



Yoga Therapy Training: Flow Hot Yoga

As part of its dedication to healing and safe yoga practice, Flow Hot Yoga is now offering an intensive 100-hour course of Hansa Yoga Therapy Training with global yoga expert Vincent Bolletta.



So what exactly is yoga therapy and how is it different from regular yoga practice? Yoga therapy utilises poses, breathing techniques and meditation to benefit and improve overall health. While any type of yoga can bring health benefits, yoga therapy works at a deeper, more involved level to support the practitioner and teacher, more than basic yoga training does. It can be used to add to a teacher’s toolkit but even those with no yoga training can experience its benefits.

It can also be used as another skillset for those already working in the health sector, such as massage and occupational therapists, who will be able to apply the principals of yoga therapy in their day-to-day work. New yoga teachers will find Hansa Yoga Therapy training a great way to support their students and it acts as a bridge to other areas of practice such as meditation, Yoga Nidra, Yoga Asana and anything from Ashtanga, Vinyasa to Kundalini.

To start your journey with Hansa Yoga Therapy, enrol now for the 100-hour training in 2019. Session times available are Friday 19 July to Wednesday 24 July and Saturday 27 July to Wednesday 31 July. The cost is $1800 per 100 hours (early bird $1500 by 1 June), held at The Vineyard at Rossendale Event Centre, 100 Old Tai Tapu Road, Halswell.

For more information visit or phone 03 348 8889.


Hit the reset button

Hit the reset button

For many of us, when the clock ticks over marking the beginning of another year, it represents the opportunity to hit the reset button and begin the quest for advancement.


Hit the reset button


Exercise is still the number one New Year’s resolution for most Kiwis and is in fact also the number one sport in New Zealand, with more than half a million participants, according to ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie. “We are seeing a greater diversity of individuals interested in exercise,” he says.

ExerciseNZ’s recent consumer research report found awareness of health is the number one reason people exercise, which is just under three quarters of all New Zealand exercisers. Fifty-one percent of respondents indicated they had carried out structured exercise in the past 30 days and just under half of these, around 743,600 adults, reported currently having a fitness membership.

However, New Zealanders still need to grasp a far greater awareness of health in 2019, Beddie says. “This is quite consistent across all age bands, genders and income levels.” Gyms are increasingly catering for a much more diverse range of age groups, health conditions and cost, with a greater variety of products on offer today, from yoga to boot camp and high-intensity classes to meditation sessions.

Non-participation in structured exercised activities generally increased to a peak among 55 to 64 year olds. While 18 to 24 year olds are relatively active in structured exercise terms, participation dropped significantly from 25 years of age and to a minority after 45 years of age, Beddie says.



On Point: Barre Workout

On Point: The latest fitness craze is barre (and we love it)

The fitness industry has forged an almost cult-like following because, although the fads come and go, a healthy diet and exercise is the closest formula we have to a fountain of youth.

On Point: Barre Workout

The latest craze turning heads faster than a pirouette is the barre workout and this is one recreational activity which we can honestly say is on point.
Taking its cues from sculpting ballet warmups, the barre workout has spread in popularity in much the same way as spinning, CrossFit and yoga. There’s no tiptoeing around the benefits of this recreational powerhouse:

  1. Be core-ful: You core is about so much more than getting a 6-pack, try a 29-pack! The core includes some 29 muscles and barre workouts can be used to engage them all!
  2. Super strength: By targeting the large muscle groups in the body, barre workouts can effectively burn more calories! By increasing your resting metabolic rate, your body will continue to burn calories even once you’ve finished your workout.
  3. No pressure: The controlled, body-weight focused exercises of barre workouts increase muscle endurance and stability, which reduces pressure on joints, tendons, ligaments and the spine.
  4. Fabulously flexible: Of course, don’t forget that barre training is a great way to enhance your flexibility while significantly improving strength. Improved flexibility ensures joints are moving freely, which can improve your posture.