CELEBRATE mothers, celebrate life, get a work-out and raise money for a great cause — all before 11am — by supporting an event in City Hall this Mother’s Day.
One of Cork’s leading fitness instructors, Lesley Giltinan, is for the second year in a row hosting two group workouts in the historic venue on Sunday, March 31 for charity.
Lesley, who keeps 500 Cork men and women in shape every week with her Vipr&Tone classes in Cork Con, hosted her inaugural Mother’s Day event last year and was blown away with the response.
“We had over 500 people of all ages between two sessions in City Hall and raised €10,000 for BUMBLEance, the National Ambulance Service for Sick Children.
“I just felt that it was such a success, that there was no reason in the world not to make it an annual event and we’re hoping to have even more people come along this year,” said the mum-of-three.
“Enable Ireland provide vital therapy and rehabilitation services to over 860 children in Cork.
“They are based in the Lavanagh Centre in Ballintemple since the 1960s and in 2016 launched an ambitious fund-raising campaign to raise €7.5m to build a custom made centre. They have €1.3m left to raise and that’s where we can help — while also having fun and looking after our well-being,” she said.
“It’s also just down the road from us here at Cork Con and being a mum I’d have an awareness of children and a friend of mine is also on the fundraising committee so it just all made sense for me to spread awareness and help.”
Last year, she said, lots of women who supported the Lean with Lesley event said it gave them an ideal opportunity to see their own mums or daughters on Mother’s Day — and the fact that it was on in the morning meant they had the rest of the day free to then spend with their own families.
Lesley points out the event is accessible to people of all ages — men included and welcome — and all fitness levels.
“It’s all inclusive — people are welcome to bring their own children from around the age of 10, although toddlers probably aren’t a good idea!
“It’s a fun, own-body work out, with no equipment used. I always say, you can only work out to your own fitness level so there’s no need to worry if the person beside you is doing head stands — a modification can be made to all exercises,” she insisted.
This is Lesley’s sixth year in business, having previously worked as a financial advisor her hobby was always keeping fit, so she took the plunge and trained to become a fitness instructor. She qualified in 2011 with National Training Centre in Exercise, Health Studies and Personal Training and in 2012 set up Vipr& Tone Cork which she said was one of the best things she ever did.
“I absolutely love what I’m doing — I couldn’t keep it up if I didn’t,” she said.
Most recently she’s expanded the business by going digital with Lean with Lesley.
“I see 500 people a week through my classes, but I thought why not try to reach people outside of that, and even outside of Cork so I developed an app where people can train with me at home, or wherever they are.
“I am literally doing whatever you are doing and the format is the same as it is in my classes,” she explained.
Different work-outs are added to the app every week, offering great diversity with options for a five, 15 or 30 minute session available.
“So no excuses allowed,” jokes Lesley.
It’s also now possible to follow her ‘Four Week Blast’ online as well which incorporates nutrition plans and is known for its results.
Her son Vincent works in the business and Rachel Moloney, of Cork hurling fame, is also part of the team and teaches yoga in the venue on Thursdays.
It’s at this time of year that Lesley says she traditionally sees a drop off in numbers after the initial post-Christmas rush. But she is passionate about making time, even if it’s five minutes, for personal fitness which will positively impact on mental health.
“Being physically fit makes such a difference when dealing with things in all areas of our life because there is a lot of hard stuff out there,” she said.
When it comes to nutrition, she says our focus should be on eating ‘real food and in small portions”.
“Of course there will be times when we’ll eat processed food and have that glass of wine. But it’s about balance. My approach is that what we eat must be real — it must have grown from the ground, fallen from a tree or have had a heartbeat.”
Speaking of heartbeats, she’ll have hundreds pounding at City Hall on Sunday, March 31 at both 9am and 10am, where there’ll be a chance to win a luxury hamper with the likes of beauty products, spa and restaurant vouchers.
Tickets cost €15 and include refreshments. Available now from leanwithlesley.com