Half an hour is all I need

Circuit training

“There aren’t enough hours in a day”

To an extent I agree with this saying. I am full of beans and a social butterfly.  I like to cram lots into my day and don’t wait around for things to happen.

However when it comes to the gym I sometimes flag the idea because I think it will take too long.  Well.. this was my mindset until mid last year.

Newly single and searching for something to fill the void, I sought comfort in both my friends and the gym. I found a great gym buddy who encouraged me to roll my pancake bum out of bed in the morning and work on my jump squats until my booty grew.. In a good way.

We discovered a 12 week online circuit programme which included a meal plan and stretches.

What a challenge it was, especially throughout the winter months, teeth chattering as we defrosted our frosted car windows in the dark and toddled down to the gym.

The programme consists of 4X7 minute circuits, with 30 seconds rest between each circuit, so a 30 minute programme altogether.

Yip that’s right.. 30 mins (the length of a Home and Away episode).

Circuit training

The meal plan is basic but achievable, reducing starchy carbs but everything in moderation.

I think deprivation is one of the cruelest things you can do to your body.

Boy can I eat!

I have an inkling I may be Nigella Lawson and Heston Bloomenthal’s secret love child.

As much as I love food, the intensity of the workouts and the nutritional balance I found (with the help of naturopath, Felicity Leahy) meant my body transformed.

I am now in the best shape of my life and happier than I have ever been. Endorphins?

I understand procrastination is a son of a gun but push through it because it only takes you 30 mins a day to find that reward.

Why I hike..

Blogpost Nick kicked of our active inspiration series with a post about 100 runs in 100 days, which he’s mid way through (for the 2nd time), which I read with great awe. I’m fairly sure I won’t manage 100 runs in my entire lifetime, let alone in 100 days. What I could happily do every single day, for as long as I’m able, is walk.  For me, walking / hiking / tramping (all of which, are words to describe the same basic activity of putting one foot in front of the other at a steady pace) has been a great love of mine for as long as I can remember.

I’ve been lucky enough to walk in some of the most beautiful places in the world, and these walks form some of my most vivid memories. Hiking up to Mount Sinai in the dead of night to view sunrise from the top, tramping along the rocky paths high above the Caribbean sea in the Virgin Islands, walking though the Nevada dessert, Hiking through the low mists of Cader Idris  to the windy summit.

I walk to relax, to clear my head, it connects me to the moment I am in. Walking helps me focus on my surroundings without the distraction that more strenuous exercise causes (for me anyway – like trying to actually breath) or the equal distraction of being still, which I will always fill with a book.

I like the endless conversations that stretch ahead when you walk a long track, with an old friend, I like the fact there is no where else to be, from the start of the path, to the end of the path.

Walking helped me hang on to my sanity when I had my first baby. I would bundle him up, each day, and walk for hours through Epping forest (where we happened to live at the time). I couldn’t imagine how else to fill the days (I wasn’t really a natural baby entertainer – if there is such a thing.)

Walking helped me fall in love with Wellington, when I was homesick, and overwhelmed, as a mother of four (how did that happen?).  I’d brace for the wind, put the kids on bikes and scooters and in pushchairs and backpacks and we’d inch round the South Coast, and if we could do that, somehow the day mostly worked.

Now I like nothing more than dropping the kids at school and Kindy and walking through the vineyards near my Martinborough home. You can track the seasons against the progress of the vines. My favourite time is now, just before harvest…which takes me on to another love…


Why I am running 100 runs in 100 days again



Lately I’ve been standing in the ocean up to my thighs. My neighbours laugh at me but it’s all for a good cause.

Two summers ago I ran 100 runs in 100 days. It was inspired by a friend who mentioned that he was doing it. Sounded just crazy enough to tempt me. At the end I felt amazing. I had endless energy.

It was such a positive experience that I started again on Christmas day 2014. At the time of writing I am in the 70s.

I have a busy life with 3 young kids aged between 2 and 7 years. One of the things I like about running is I can go straight out the door and be into it. My rules are pretty flexible, but I am looking to do more than 20 minutes running; or more than 4kms. And when I say flexible I include things like playing spotlight with the kids for 90 minutes.

I have several go-to runs that give me some variety: a flat 5km – 11km, 2 hill variations, and a park across the road for agility and variable speed running. I reckon the variety is essential both mentally and physically.

My running is very conservative. The main issue is leg management. I find that my cardio fitness picks up quickly but my legs are often tight from the previous outing. So when running I am mindful of how I am feeling.

I have done lots of running before so move ok but am far from competitive. Instead I use it for my own mental health and as a health measure – I understand what I should be able to do and consider my health if I don’t feel well.

I reckon that small, regular sessions of exercise are a great way of getting really fit. If you take the ‘100’ challenge be patient. The benefits are 70 runs in and the hardest part is the first 3 weeks.

And don’t let the neighbours out you off.


Nick Conn

Meet the team – Juliette Dowland

Juliette blog

Juliette blog

Juliette has worked as a physiotherapist for Willis Street Physio at various different locations around Wellington. She has spent time working at a number of rest homes as well as at the Victioria University and Willis Street clinics. She enjoys the variety physiotherapy offers and loves each aspect of her job. As Victoria University gets busier with the influx of returning students, Juliette will be based predominantly at the Kelburn campus.

Juliette completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy in Dunedin and spent her final year on placement in Palmerston North. Aside from her university studies, Juliette has lived in Wellington all of her life and, despite the temperamental weather, absolutely loves it. After high school she did a gap year and spent a summer working through the Camp America program as a lifeguard and swim instructor at a summer camp in Massachussets. Since then she has had a serious travel bug and has ensured that each year she goes overseas at some stage. Last year she travelled to South and Central America where she was lucky to experience the entire football world cup in Brazil and visited 11 different countries over 6 months. Her next adventure will be a brief stint in London later this year to support the All Blacks at the rugby world cup.

Juliette was always involved in sports growing up. By the time she reached high school she discovered her strength lay in water sports and was heavily involved in competitive swimming as well as water polo, underwater hockey and surf lifesaving. Since finishing high school she has remained involved with surf lifesaving and throughout the summer is found training with her canoe crew or volunteer lifesaving at Lyall Bay. She loves travelling with her team mates to compete at some of New Zealand’s best beaches. While travelling through Central America she also discovered a great passion for surfing and hopes to maintain this.

Juliette is not limited to the water however (although admits she does not have great coordination for ball sports). She maintains a fit and healthy lifestyle by regularly attending gym classes at City fitness and going on the occasional run, completing her first round the bays half marathon last year. She picked up snowboarding a couple of years ago and intends to travel to the slopes regularly this coming winter. In her first year of university she played womens rugby for her Hall of residence, however 3 minutes into her first game she dislocated her hip so that short career was soon over.

Juliette has a close group of friends who she loves to spend time with. Whether it be travelling together, attending musical festivals, going to the movies or simply going for a walk or for a coffee date, she ensures that there is always a good social balance in her life.


Have you ever done a Pilates class?


Pilates 1


Well a month ago I would have said “I have never been to a Pilates class before”.
But my eyes were opened when I visited a wee Pilates studio on the Terrace called ‘Lofft’.

Lofft is run by Morice, a passionate and well educated woman, who believes that posture is a very important part of our everyday lives.

She came to me from my recent blog ‘new year, new body’ to ​invite me to a one-on-one session to talk about posture awareness and that is important that I use the correct posture while exercising, but also how Pilates can help me get to my goal of fitting into that bikini in November this year.

I arrived at Lofft and was handed a questionnaire/consent form to fill out and discus with Morice. This is a critical step so Morice can find out a bit more about you and where your body level is at and if you have any injuries, this ensures you are starting at the correct level of Pilates training.

Morice showed me how I should be sitting by altering a few bad habits I have. I also felt my core switch on – which for me, was like switching a lightbulb on in my body. For once I felt like I was doing things right.

Morice then showed me the correct posture for lying down. She used some great gadgets to ensure that the movements I was doing was still activating my core and not using too much of my back muscles (which had been a problem for me in the past).

I have since been to the gym and used these techniques, especially while doing core work like sit ups, swiss ball exercises and squats.
At home I practice a lot of the standing techniques, while im cooking in the kitchen and while standing in front of a mirror brushing my teeth.

I have found that my back hasn’t been as sore after practicing these techniques, I even feel a bit lighter possibly due to correct posture. I am definitely keen to continue with Morice’s sessions.


For information about Morice you can either contact Willis Street Physiotherapy on 3848313 or check out http://www.lofft.co.nz, or email morice@lofft.co.nz or phone her directly on 021 374 367.

Gravity Fitness Class with Gabriel Ribeiro

 Gabriel 2
We are excited to announce personal trainer Gabriel Ribeiro’s Gravity Fitness classes are coming to Willis Street Physiotherapy.
What is Gravity Fitness?
Gravity Fitness it’s a functional full body workout scaled to each student( it means that there is a progression in exercises and intensity)
Work your strength, agility and flexibility using your body weight as resistance.
Be fit for life.
 Gabriel 1
Timetable: Willis Street Physiotherapy (57 Willis St) Monday and Wednesday from 1700 to 1745
Island Bay school Monday and Wednesday 0630-0730
Frank Kitts park Tuesday and Thursday 1210-1255
Martin Luckie park Friday 1800-1845
Special 40% off if you like Gravity Fitness page on Facebook.
Post: Fit for life.
From $340 to $200 for 2 MONTHS.
Promo runs until the 20th of Feb.
Bookings are essential so that Gabriel knows how many people are attending each session.
Gabriel 3
Come along, bring a friend and have fun while getting fit.

Welcome to the team Caroline Appleton



Willis Street Physiotherapy are extremely excited to welcome physiotherapist Caroline Appleton to the team.

Caroline will be working full time at our Willis Street clinic.

Graduating from Otago University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degrees in Physiotherapy, Caroline worked for a few years in private practise in Wellington before returning to Otago University to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Acupuncture.

Caroline has had 9 year experience working in Wellington in private practise as well as working with sport teams in the weekend.

She has a particular interest in sports injuries and loves helping patients recover to be able to return to playing their sport of choice.

Caroline uses a wide range of treatment techniques including mobilisation, soft tissue release, taping and manipulation and finds that acupuncture is beneficial for some of the more tricky injuries, along with the use of pilates based exercises for rehabilitation.  Caroline has also completed courses in BPPV and has found the treatment techniques very successful for helping people suffering from BPPV.

Outside of physiotherapy, Caroline is an avid follower of any sports. She has played a variety of sports, but is currently honing her skills on squash and golf.

Welcome to the team Caroline, we are extremely excited to have you on board.