I’m the first to admit I’m neither fit nor flexible at the moment. Last year was dominated by long working days and minding the ladies so I didn’t find much time to myself to get out and exercise. And as soon as I found myself with a tiny bit of time to myself I was pregnant and then it was too late to start. As most mothers will know we often tend to put ourselves and our own wellbeing last as small (and not so small toddlers!) are lifted in and out of awkward carseats or cots, uncomfortable positions adopted on hard floors while games are played and puppy dog eyes mean you find yourself with a child perched on your hip while you talk to friends. All in all, children are not conducive to good posture or strong backs, something I discovered last year when I had to attend physio to rectify weak lower back muscles after a long drive to Sligo. Anyway, when Miriam of Flex and the City, a new Reformer Pilates studio based in Penrose Wharf in Cork City, contacted me to see if I’d be interested in attending a one on one class with Julette I literally jumped at the opportunity. I had tried pilates before in a previous pregnancy but being a woman used to running and jumping I found it slow and unchallenging. Reformer Pilates, I was assured, was neither! Reformers Pilates was first started by Joseph Pilates as a method of rehabilitating wounded soldiers but since then it’s popularity has increased worldwide by everyone from ballet dancers to expecting mothers like myself! So one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago I hit off, delighted to be back in my workout gear and geared up for a new challenge. Flex and the City is conveniently located near the city and the studio itself is a haven of calm. The studio combines Julette’s expertise in Pilates with Miriam’s expertise in nutrition so it’s a real all-round experience in terms of improving your health in a nice easy, manageable and realistic way. Julette knew my ‘situation’ so the class was tailored specifically to my needs. Honestly it was such a lovely experience, not difficult on the face of it, the seemingly simple moves actually proved more testing that I would have anticipated. Julette was a wealth of advise on how to mind your back, shoulders and on how to incorporate stretches and simple moves into your daily routine. Now I never wait for the kettle to boil without doing a good shoulder roll and whenever I get downon the ground with the girls I try to stretch out my back. You know when you come away from something and you are genuinely buzzing, well that’s how I arrived home to my husband. I am thoroughly eager to get back to it again once we get back from our holidays and most certainly when this baby lands. If even just to get a couple of hours to myself during the week to zone out, get away from the phone and to do something for me. Because we all know that a happy, healthy Mother means a happy, healthy home. If you’re based around Cork and interested in some challenging yet achievable exercise with the overall view to making you fit and flexible then I highly recommend the girls at Flex and the City!