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Tag: Pilates

Benefits of pilates

It’s one of the hottest ways to exercise and for good reason. Check out how pilates benefits your body like no other workout.



1. Build strength
Pilates focuses on strengthening and toning the body from the core out – long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. Completely reshape your body through controlled and progressive movements.

2. Improve posture and flexibility
Through the use of movement fundamentals and mat and equipment exercises, Pilates strengthens and stabilises the core, while helping to maintain correct spinal and pelvic alignment. Joints are also moved through their full range of motion, easing tension and stiffness and encouraging full mobility.

3. Maintain good balance and coordination
Pilates requires a high level of concentration and forces you to use your mind and body simultaneously, increasing coordination. Many Pilates exercises challenge stability by focusing on improving both static and dynamic balance.


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.


Get your hips moving!

If you suffer from hip pain, don’t just put it down to ‘old age’. With the right advice and treatment, you may be relieved to realise how quickly you can improve.



“Do I need a hip replacement?” This is often the first place people’s minds wander to when they start experiencing hip pain. In fact, it is this fear that often prevents them from seeking treatment in the first place.

The reality is that in many cases, the hip pain is not from significant underlying arthritis which would lead to a hip replacement. With this in mind, what is the best approach?

Cath Julius from Freedom Health Physiotherapy & Pilates has given three important pieces of advice to get you started on the pathway to better movement.

There are many factors that can lead to hip pain; arthritis is only one component and not the most common.

Other factors include muscle weakness, muscle tightness and even daily postural habits that can load the area and cause a sensation of pain.

The most important first step is to get an assessment with someone who is experienced in hip pain and rehabilitation.

Even if there is underlying arthritis, exercise is still recommended.

Exercise provides mobility and blood flow to the affected area, strengthens the surrounding muscles and helps maintain a healthy weight which is important for joint load.

If you’re unsure of what is the right type of exercise for you, speak to a health professional who is experienced in hip rehabilitation.

It can be tempting to search for quick solutions to pain but you need to commit to a long-term solution that will help not only your current hip symptoms, but your overall health in the long-term.

In a nutshell, that means finding regular movement that your body enjoys.

The team at Freedom Health Physiotherapy & Pilates are experts at assessing and treating hip pain.

Offering expert assessment, treatment, specific hip and lumbar programmes, and ongoing exercise solutions, they’re a great place to start getting you back to doing the things you love – for life.


Exercising into your 40s and beyond: Freedom Health

From increased bone density to better muscle mass and heart health, there is no doubt that exercise is an important part of staying healthy for women who are 40 and beyond. Cath Julius, Clinical Director at Freedom Health Physio and Pilates, gives a few simple tips for making exercise work for you.



  1. Acknowledge where you are
    For many women, the 40s marks a transition from the primary caregiver to re-prioritising yourself. But if you have been less active during the last 5 to 15 years, it is important to acknowledge that your body needs time to recondition and strengthen. Expecting to jump straight back into your old routine from 10 years ago is setting yourself up for frustration and possible injury.
  2. Find movement you love
    The number one key to integrating exercise into your life is to find activities that you enjoy doing. Don’t be fooled into claims like ‘the best exercise for women over 40’. The only movement that works in the long term is the one that you enjoy. Take time and explore different options. What you loved when you were 20 is often different to the movement your body enjoys at 40.
  3. Accept hormonal changes and work with professionals who understand
    From the age of 40, the female body experiences a number of hormonal changes and the effect of these hormonal changes goes well beyond hot flushes. Many women are unaware that hormones also have an impact on soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments and even your pelvic floor. This means that some women start to experience new symptoms they have not felt before, ranging from hip pain to leakage. But just because it’s hormonal, doesn’t mean you have to surrender and accept these symptoms. Find a health professional who understands Women’s Health and Exercise and let them guide you back to a movement routine that works for you.


At Freedom Health, there’s a team of experts at exercise and women’s health. No matter what your concern, they understand and they can help you to keep doing the things you love – for life. Contact them today on 03 355 6699 to learn more.




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.