#PeriodPower shines a light on physical activity through a female lens, exploring the unique biological, social & environmental considerations that impact women & girls’ health & well-being.
By providing evidence-based information, practical resources & top tips, #PeriodPower strives to promote more equitable, supportive & empowering environments. This also includes supporting activity providers, coaches, educators, club committees & health-care professionals.
Our aim is to support women & girls to be active at every life stage & in a way that works for HER, so dive into our #PeriodPower pages to learn more & join the movement.
“In predominantly using the term ‘Women & Girls’ throughout our #PeriodPower initiative, Think Active recognises that people of all gender identities can have a menstrual cycle. While we refer to ‘Women & Girls’, we understand that some people who do not identify as female may have a reproductive system that means they menstruate. We also acknowledge that not all people who identify as female, have a menstrual cycle, or female physiology.”
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**The information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and is not is not intended to provide health advice, diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Always seek medical advice**
The Menstrual Cycle is a powerful indicator of overall health
The natural biological rhythm of the menstrual cycle, is an important indicator of overall health. It has a powerful influence on physical & mental well-being, so understanding & nurturing this intricate cycle becomes our super-power.
Evidence tells us that regular physical activity throughout the menstrual cycle can provide numerous benefits, including, improved mood, reduced pain & enhance overall well-being.
NetballHer:England Netball has been working with female health experts, The Well HQ, to re-write the rules and reimagine best practice around the female body’s life stages. Explore the NetballHer website for a whole host of infographics, videos, real life stories & expert opinion. Menstrual Cycle topics include:
Monthly periods create anxiety in a sporting situation with 7 out of 10 girls avoiding being active when on their period. 62% of girls avoid exercise due to fear of leakage and 45% because they are more self-conscious at this time.
The Active Pregnancy Foundation has a vision to create a society where women are empowered to be physically active throughout their childbearing years in a way that works for them. For some women this may be sport, for others it involves exercise, but for most women this is physical activity.
Click here to discover more about supporting women to stay active throughout pregnancy and beyond, through the expertise & advice of Active Pregnancy Foundation.
Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy is designed to identify the small number of individuals who should seek medical advice as a first step to becoming or continuing to be physically active during pregnancy, and to help the majority of healthy pregnant individuals overcome any concerns they might have with getting or staying active.
UK Sport has produced separate guidance for Governing Bodies& Athletesto advise how to best support an Athlete’s pregnancy fairly and appropriately, providing recommendations to support an Athlete during their pregnancy, and for when they return to training and competition post-childbirth.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can have a significant impact on lifestyle & well-being, yet it remains hidden, under-reported & stops many women being physically active or playing sport.
This needs to change!
Chapter 5 of the fantastic The Female Body Bible, ‘Protecting Your Pelvic Floor’, reports that a quarter of all women aged twenty or above report at least one symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction, such as leaking urine.
Furthermore, the authors from The Well HQ explain that the rates of pelvic floor dysfunction in active women range from 8-80% depending on the training volumes & impact levels of the sport.
Why is a well-fitted & supportive sports bra so important?
When it comes to active-wear or sports kit for women & girls, the sports bra is often one of the most neglected items on the list, despite it being one of the most essential.
A well-fitting & supportive sports bra can:
reduce breast pain
help prevent back and neck pain
help prevent irreversible breast sag
improve comfort & boost confidence during physical activity
Researchhas also shown that insufficient breast support can make exercise feel harder, increase the risk of lower limb injuries, decrease stride length by 4cm, make running mechanics less economical, leading us to tire sooner.
Schools across the UK are being encouraged to sign up to a free initiative which aims to educate young girls on breast health.
The project provides teachers with credible, reliable and evidence-based information, which has been packaged into downloadable online resources. It was developed by researchers at the University of Portsmouth, St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London, and the University of Chichester.
The Research Group in Breast Health, uses their expertise in breast biomechanics to improve scientific knowledge of breast health, inform the development of breast related products and raise awareness of this important aspect of women’s health.
There’s been much talk about women’s sports kit recently, from issues around Wimbledon whites, girls forced to wear skorts for PE and women not allowed to wear the hijab to play sport to extremes of female athletes objectified and sexualised with revealing clothing, high cut leotards & bikini bottoms. A panel of game changers addresses some of the challenges and provides practical recommendations that will enable more choice for more women.
Inclusive Sportswear CIC is a non-profit community-interest company, working to create more inclusive sport and physical activity clothing and uniform policies for schools, clubs, sport organisations and brands
Open Learn from the Open University: Issues in women’s health in relation to sport & fitness – Breast Health. (4.24 mins).
This 4-minute video animation explains some of the key issues around breast health, identifies the impact that poor breast support can have on performance, and discusses the benefits of a good sports bra.
As part of the Think Active #PeriodPower initiative, Vicky & Meg met the team at Bravissimo, Leamington Spa, to be fitted for a sports bra & to share the experience (as well as finding out how well their existing bras fit!) Click here to find out more!
Boobydoo’s Perfect Fit Guide is full resources to help you find the perfect sports bra for you and your activity. Watch handy videos, read the blogs, speak to a Sports Bra Expert during a virtual fitting, over the phone, Live Chat or email.
Created to protect women’s breasts and to give athletes, sportspeople and those in physically demanding careers the confidence to play, work and live freely by alleviating breast impact and preventing injury.
A life-stage full of possibilities.
Menopause, the point in time when periods have stopped for 12 consecutive months & the perimenopausal years leading up to this, might be inevitable & unstoppable, but they represent a life stage full of possibilities.
With the average age of menopause in the UK being 51, many women will spend more than 40% of their lives on some part of their menopause journey. Yes, 40% plus! And that is why mastering our menopause & embracing the possibilities can be crucial to living longer better.
Think Active’s Live Longer Better mission is to enable people to live better for longer, to increase Healthy Life Expectancy and reduce the period of time at the end of life when people are very dependent on others
Women’s Health Concern is the patient arm of the British Menopause Society. WHC provides a confidential, independent service to advise, inform and reassure women about their gynaecological, sexual and post reproductive health.
University of Edinburgh – Menopause, Physical Activity and Mental Wellbeing
Shines new light on the links between our physical and mental health and wellbeing, and how menopausal symptoms impact women during this time.
The experiences of women who took part in this project highlighted menopause was a barrier to being active, with 57% of women reporting a decrease in activity levels, and 94% reporting a change in mood, such as low mood, anxiety, mood swings or low self-esteem. However, women who met the physical activity guidelines, as set out by UK Chief Medical Officers, had greater mental wellbeing than those who did not.
For healthcare professionals The British Menopause Society (BMS) is the specialist authority for menopause and post reproductive health in the UK. Established in 1989, the BMS educates, informs and guides healthcare professionals, working in both primary and secondary care, on menopause and all aspects of post reproductive health.
“Moving Medicine is the single most important advance in therapeutics in my 50 years in medicine. The benefit to harm ratio is outstandingly favourable and every drug or psychological prescription for a long-term condition should be partnered by a Moving Medicine prescription of activity.” Muir Gray Kt CBE DSc MD
The Menopause Charity has worked with the Newson Health Menopause Society and Fourteen Fish to deliver the ‘Confidence in the Menopause’.This online course is available for free to every healthcare professional in the world.
30 minute session designed for all NHS colleagues, giving learners an overview of what the menopause is, the common symptoms associated with it, and scenarios which will help our people better understand the ways in which they can help support themselves and each other.
Designed by the Royal Society for Public Health in collaboration with Bluesci this menopause awareness training seeks to develop knowledge, skills, and confidence to integrate relevant conversations and support.
Clubs need a lot of passion and organisation to get started and to keep everything running smoothly. To help, visit Think Active’s Club Support Toolkit for further resources of support and tools to help manage or setup clubs.
Transgender Inclusion in Domestic Sport:
Sport should be a place where everyone can be themselves, where everyone can take part and where everyone is treated with kindness, dignity and respect. The UK’s Sports Councils Guidance for Transgender Inclusion in Domestic Sport(2021), highlights widespread support for ensuring that sport was a welcoming place for everyone in society, but there were some concerns relating to safety and sporting fairness in the inclusion of transgender people, particularly transgender women, and no consensus on how this should be addressed. Sports, however, are incredibly diverse and there can be no ‘one-size fits all’ approach. National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGB) are being supported to issue guidance on the inclusion of transgender people within their sport. A list of recognised NGBs can be foundhere
The Warwickshire Pride Fitness Club is all about empowering LGBT+ people to become more active in order to boost physical and mental health. A regular fitness activity takes place somewhere in Warwickshire. Most of the activities are suitable for people of all abilities and will always be fully accessible where possible
The causes of injury in a sport & physical activity context, rarely point to one specific factor. Indeed, there is often a complex mix of biological & environmental factors that contribute to any given injury.
#PeriodPower’s mission is to support women & girls’ to be active throughout all life stages & being sidelined through injury can have a devastating impact. The following resources dive into the specific risk factors for women and most significantly, the practical steps that can be taken to help reduce some of these risks.
If you have already discovered England Netball’s fantastic NetballHer website, you will appreciate how applicable the information is to all women & girls (& their allies), not just the netball community.
The NetballHer Injury pages explore the following topics & include a range of great infographics:
FIFA 11+ is an effective injury prevention program developed by FIFA. Designed as a complete warm-up, it can be done in place of a regular warm-up before training/games and includes specific strengthening exercises and drills to reduce the likelihood of injuries in football players. The exercises are designed to improve strength in the lower limbs and core, greater neuromuscular control and awareness throughout a range of motions.
This programme aims to educate on landing mechanics & improve those basic skills to try and help reduce lower limb injury. It is designed for all ages in all skill sets. It is recommended to complete this as part of your warm up, ideally twice a week, and you do not need additional equipment.
Concussion & Sub Concussion: If In Doubt, Sit Them Out!
⭐️Are you looking to recruit, retain & build your female membership?
⭐️How can you support your female members to thrive?
Women & girls aren’t smaller, pinker versions of men! This checklist acts as a prompt for clubs to review their policy & practice to help build knowledge & practical understanding to better meet the needs of their female membership.
With Sport England funding, ukactive commissioned research to better understand the barriers which women and girls face when taking part in physical activity in gyms & leisure facilities and translate these findings into practical guidance that the sector can easily implement to make its facilities more welcoming and attractive to women and girls.
Clubs need a lot of passion and organisation to get started and to keep everything running smoothly. To help, visit Think Active’s Club Support Toolkit for support and tools to help manage or setup clubs.
Club Matters provides a wide range of tools, guidance and resources that cover all aspects of running a sports club or group.
The Well HQ- the team she needs Health & wellness website. Scientist. Doctor. Coach – UK’s Leading Female Athlete Health Experts. Changing systems not designed for women & girls in sport. This is an essential resource!
Do you support women’s performance in sport or fitness as a coach or parent? Are you a female athlete who wants to optimise your performance using recent research insights? If so, then this free course is for you. It addresses the problem of sports science research traditionally being male dominated and the assumption that if it works for men then it must work for women. It allows you to explore specific female physiological and psychological topics such as relationships between the menstrual cycle, breast support, pelvic floor health and physical performance. You will also find out more about how to effectively communicate with female athletes.
The Female Body Bible is the playbook of all the elements that go into getting the most out of your body, and a selection of strategies that you can try to find out what works for you and your incredible body.
Game On is a powerful new documentary that showcases and celebrates the incredible recent growth in women’s sport. Launching on Netflix on June 26 it features a host of sporting pioneers and global events, as it charts the past, present and future for women’s sport and its impact on society.
How women & girls relate to food and their bodies, across the life stages, can present itself differently to men. Understanding how the female body processes & stores energy, as well as food preferences, weight management strategies & the emotional relationship with food, is key to promoting physical & mental well-being & optimising performance.