|Michelle Wright of Mishfit|
Today I had the pleasure to meet Michelle Wright, the founder of mishfit. Michelle and I discussed the issue of pelvic floor health and the concerning fact that it is so common, and yet it receives very little attention either publicly or in the fitness industry. I learnt quite a lot from our meeting and I hope you do too.
Mish has generously donated a double CD with meditation and pelvic floor exercise routine for alucky Core Integrity with Cat reader! Just leave a comment below stating in 20 words or less why you'd like to win.
Hi Mish. Thanks for chatting with me today. Let’s start with what your professional background is.
M: I began my working life as a primary school teacher in New Zealand, later moving to Japan and London to teach and work as a language consultant. Ten years’ ago I moved to Australia and after 4 years, I gained my qualifications in the fitness industry and embraced a new career as a trainer.
What was your purpose in establishing mishfit?
M: I started mishfit to achieve 3 things: to give mums an option to undertake affordable training that they could attend with their kids, to create awareness of the pelvic floor in the fitness industry and to ensure women were educated also, to have a business that was flexible enough that I could give my family time and energy (not easy to do as a single mother with 2 kids and no family in Australia!)
What is next for you?
M: I want to continue to enable and empower women to have their own mishfit business and I recently sold my first franchise, now operating in Ringwood. A mishfit franchise allows women to stay fit and healthy, create a meaningful difference for other women and being able to balance their work and family obligations.
Why is it a concern that there is a lack of education around pelvic floor health in the fitness industry?
M: It is like the last taboo... we don't like to discuss things "down there!" Historically, pelvic floor as a muscle that is taught at training facilities has been completely missing. The new Pelvic Floor First initiative from the Continence Foundation of Australia is helping to change that. Post-natal women are one of the largest groups in our society attending registered fitness centres or services, and we know that one third of them are leaking... It is definitely time for the fitness industry to wake up and get involved.
What are you doing to make this happen?
Last month I presented this subject at FILEX (the largest fitness convention in the Southern Hemisphere) and I was thrilled that over 100 people attended and that 6 of them were men! Yah!
Who can do pelvic floor exercises and benefit from it?
M: All women, regardless of whether they have had children or not, should be practicing pelvic floor exercises. Men can also benefit, and it’s a must if they have had any prostrate issues. A strong pelvic floor does not only stop you from leaking (80% of pelvic floor dysfunction can be sorted out by regular exercises in this area), but improves your orgasms (makes them stronger) and gives you a flatter lower abdominal (by activating the transverse abdominus muscle)... how cool is that? The big 3 I call them!
Who are the typical class patrons of mishfit?
M: My personal training clients are women of all backgrounds. mishfit mothers is a group program that I have designed for pregnant & post- natal women, and is currently in Ringwood & Northcote.
What signs can people be alert to that indicate a weak pelvic floor?
M: Leaking a little wee when you sneeze, jump or cough. The inability to hold on. Excessive toilet going (more than 5-7 times per day) and inability to empty bladder properly. Any pelvic or lower back discomfort. Any bulging or heaviness in the vaginal area (this could signify prolapse)
Is it ever too late to begin pelvic floor strengthening exercises?
M: Never! The World Health Organisation has stated that this is one of the largest preventable issues of our times.
Where can people find out more about mishfit and enrol in classes?
www.mishfit.com.au or 1300mishfit (1300647 4348)