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Men are like jellyfish and women...

R2. Do we need to improve our pelvic floor? Isn't that just a woman thing?

I appeal right here and now to men: join my Pilates classes and let's get back on the track of physical and mental health. Women, you probably don't need the same level of 'encouragement' or cajoling, but you're welcome too!

When life expectency is concerned the numbers speak for themselves: The 2021 Census tells us that life expectancy is 79 for men and just under 83 for women (2018 - 2020 figures).

Might this gap close if men looked after themselves as much as women do? I don't mean launching into gritty weekend warrior, tough mudder egofests, though these can be a lot of fun. I don't even mean running, though this can be wonderful on many levels too.

My beef is this.

For men there is too much focus on toning up, getting ripped and other aggressive-sounding aspects to become stronger. What about the relax and soften part?

What if, instead of striving to be rocks, we adopted the approach of a jellyfish? The muscles around the pelvic floor can behave in that manner. Contracting and, importantly, relaxing. One without the other results in damage through either hyper- or hypotonic muscles down there.

This weekend I participated in an online course on caring for the pelvic floor. There were two men attending and 46 women. Surprise!

Instead of letting it all go (and it might, all over the floor!) let's take a leaf out of healthy women's books. Don't you want to lose that lower back pain or stay out of the waiting lists for a new hip which, like all surgery, has its risks?

Attending regular classes with other like-minded people is a sociable way to build back your health. Nobody's judging you, as you soon realise. We're all really focused on our own body, noting its interesting ways and nurturing its return to a high performance vehicle for the soul!

I'm getting a group together for 5pm classes on a Thursday in Three Stiles Rd, in the NW of Farnham. If you want to join us you can be sure that I'll work with you on strengthening your pelvic muscles through Pilates routines that you can easily learn. If you prefer you can join the online Zoom classes at 0715 on Mondays and Wednesdays. Just send me an email or use the chat box on my site for a November start.

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