#PeriodPower

#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**

Menstrual Cycle

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.

Click to visit our  Think Active Tips to be Active: Don’t Let Your Menstrual Cycle Hold You Back

Resources

** NEW For Teachers** 

Bodyform has partnered with Studio You we’ve put a guide together to cover all things puberty and periods, you can read it here.

Are you a teacher looking for advice on how to support your students while on their periods? Head to the Bodyform Period Hub on Studio You, click here.

Netball her logo

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:

NetballHer Downloadable Infographics:

Netball Her says that 39 percent of teenagers do not play sport at all while they are on their period

Videos

England Rugby:

Keep Your Boots On! provides:

Toolkits that educate. Toolkits that inspire. Toolkits that protect.

As part of the England Rugby Women & Girls’ Health & Welfare Rugbysafe toolkit, take a look at:

MENSTRUAL Health & Cycle Toolkit

Podcasts;

Women In Sport Research:

Understanding puberty and menstruation and its impact on girls and sport

Puberty & Sport: An Invisible Stage. The impact on girls’ engagement in physical activity.

Tackling-Teenage-Disengagement

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.

Around 7 in 10 people avoid being ative while on their period

NHS information on Menstrual Cycle & Stopped or Missed Periods (including the link to exercise)

Pregnancy & Post Natal

Resources:

Active Pregnancy Foundation :

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.

This Mum Moves:

How can you be more active during your pregnancy leaflet

How can you be more active after childbirth leaflet

An A-Z of resources to support the promotion of physical activity during & after pregnancy

Videos:

UK Sport Pregnancy Guidance:

UK Sport has produced separate guidance for Governing Bodies & Athletes to 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.

Podcasts:

Women In Sport Podcast: Pregnancy & Exercise discussion about getting active during pregnancy and how to get back to exercise after giving birth.

NetballHer Pre & Post Natal Resources:

Click here to explore the NetballHer gallery of resources on:

New Mums & the Return to Exercise

Weeks 0-12 in Return to Exercise

Post natal nutrition

Nutrition in Pregnancy

My Fertility and My Sport

Mental Health Through Her Life Stages: Pregnancy & Postnatal

Active Pregnancy 101

Clothes and Kit – Pregnancy and Post Natal 

Pelvic Health

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.

Resources:

Netball Her Pelvic Health

“We know how little information there is around this taboo topic. This section gives you the knowledge you need to have a high performing pelvic floor”

Pelvic Floor Exercises for Beginners

Pelvic Floor & Midlife

Pelvic Floor – Pregnancy & Post Natal

Pelvic Floor – A Coach’s Guide

Bladders & Bowels

Pelvic Floor 101

Pelvic Floor for Athletes & Active Women

Squeezy App:

The multi award winning NHS approved app helping thousands of women regain confidence in their pelvic floor.

Squeezy is simple to use, informative and designed to help women to remember to do their pelvic floor muscle exercises (also known as Kegel exercises).

Features includes:

• A pre-set exercise plan that follows public health guidelines

• A record of the number of exercises you have completed, compared to your target

• Visual and audio guides for exercises

• Exercise reminders with customisable settings

• Educational information about the pelvic floor

• “Professional mode” – if working with a pelvic health specialist, you can tailor the exercise plan to fit your needs

• A bladder diary to keep track of your symptoms, if required

The Well HQ:

A vital epicentre in the body – have you done your exercises today?

Video:

England Rugby:

Keep Your Boots On! provides:

Toolkits that educate. Toolkits that inspire. Toolkits that protect.

As part of the England Rugby Women & Girls’ Health & Welfare Rugbysafe toolkit, take a look at:

PELVIC Health

Sports Bras & Equipment

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

Research has 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.

Click to visit our  Think Active Tips to be Active: Reduce Breast Pain with a Well-Fitted Sports Bra

Resources

Treasure Your Chest

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.

England Rugby:

Keep Your Boots On! provides:

Toolkits that educate. Toolkits that inspire. Toolkits that protect.

As part of the England Rugby Women & Girls’ Health & Welfare Rugbysafe toolkit, take a look at:

BREAST Health

NetballHer Downloadable Infographics

University of Portsmouth Research Group in Breast Health:

Twitter: @UOP_RGBH

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.

Podcast:

Fearless Women: Just Add Sequins 

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.

Policy:

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

Video:

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.

Women In Sport Research Findings:

Only a third of secondary school girls wear a sports bra for PE (March, 2023)

Think Active meets Bravissimo: 

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:

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.

Boob Armour:

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.

Menopause

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.

Click to visit our  Think Active Tips to be Active: Midlife & Menopause: A Time to Reset the Dial

Resources:

Menopause & Physical Activity – Places, Spaces & Ways to be Active

Research shows that just under a third of women drop off from physical activity during menopause, yet the desire to be active is high.

Knowing where to start can be a challenge, so take a dive into the directories, links & suggestions below to see what you might fancy giving a go!

Live 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

Netball Her – Menopause

Women’s Health Concern – Menopause Wellness Hub:

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.

Factsheets & Resources in different languages

Click below to access a range of WHC factsheets:

Royal Osteoporosis Society:

Osteoporosis Exercise Fact Sheet

The Well HQ:

Helping you recognise, treat and talk about menopause

Women In Sport Research Findings:

Silver-Linings-report Understanding women’s relationship with sport and physical activity in later life exploring:
1. Attitudes towards ageing
2. Women’s lifestyles and values
3. Barriers to being active
4. How to support women to become active in later life

Insight Pack Women: From Menopause into Later Life.

Menopause, Me and Physical Activity

Menopossibilities

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.

Read more: Moving Through The Menopause

Podcasts:

Women In Sport:

Exercising in midlife – the challenges and how companies can support their female workforce

Menopause and Exercise

The Power of Running Communities

The Dr Louise Newson Podcast: Joe Wicks – how to exercise & stay active during the menopause

Race & Menopause:

Resources for GPs & Health Care Professionals:

Think Active’s Joe Wicks – how to exercise & stay active during the menopause

The British Menopause Society (BMS):

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.

BMS Education Calendar for registered healthcare professionals practising in the UK

Moving Medicine:

“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 – Menopause Facts, Advice and Support:

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.

NHS Menopause E-Learning Training Session:

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.

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for Menopause training programme

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.

Menopause-summary-report.pdf (activepartnerships.org)

Strong, Steady and Straight: Physical Activity & Exercise for Osteoporosis (for use in conjunction with full expert statement)

Balance

Menopause information that has been translated into 10 different languages

TIK TOK @drnighatarif uses her language skills in Urdh & Punjabi to share bitesize videos on women’s health & break some of the barriers in normalising talking about menopause

Action Menopause Warwickshire

A local charitable group founded by Advanced Nurse Practitioner Sue Thomas to support local women to access the services and products they require to live their lives well through the menopause.

Workplace Resources:

Fawcett Society (2022) Menopause and the Workplace

ACAS Menopause at Work 

British Menopause Society – Menopause and the workplace guidance

CIPD – Menopause at work

CIPD- Menopause guidance for people managers 

Guidance on menopause in the workplace- Faculty of Occupational Medicine \

Line Manager Guide to managing menopause at work (CIPD)

The Menopause at work- top guide for people professionals (CIPD)

Health and Work Menopause focus

Menopause Support Pack

NHS Menopause Symptoms

Employee Support: The Menopause at work – a guide for people professionals

#KnowYourMenopause symptom poster for workplaces

Inclusivity

Club Matters:

A wide range of tools, guidance and resources that cover all aspects of running a sports club or group, including:

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 found here

Warwickshire Pride:

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

Tackling Teenage Disengagement 

‘Us Girls’ is the award-winning Street Games programme designed to increase and sustain young women’s participation in sport and physical activity in underserved communities across the UK.

Click on each of the Us Girl How To Guides below:

Right-Time

Right-Style

Right-Place

Injuries

When it comes to injury, research is showing that women are prone to a greater risk of joint injury & concussion than men.  Findings also show that women are up to six times more likely to suffer a non-contact ACL (knee) injury than men.

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.

Resources:

NetballHer – Injury

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:

Breast Injury

Concussion & Sub Concussion

Injury Across the Lifespan:

Non-Physical Risk Factors for Injury

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) & Injury

Does the Menstrual Cycle Ramp Up Injury Risk?

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) Injury – infographic

Netball Players’ Injury Risk – infographic

10 Ways to Reduce Injury

FIFA 11+ Programme

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.

England Netball – Jump High Land Strong

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!

UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport April 2023

Guidance on how to recognise concussion and on how it should be managed from the time of injury through to a safe return to education, work and playing sport

Support & Guidance for Sports Clubs or Organisations

‘Guide to a Female-Friendly Sports Club / Organisation ’

⭐️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.

ukactive:

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.

Women In Sport Research Findings:

UK Sport:

UK Coaching:

Club Support Tools:

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.

England Rugby:

Keep Your Boots On! provides:

Toolkits that educate. Toolkits that inspire. Toolkits that protect.

As part of the England Rugby Women & Girls’ Health & Welfare Rugbysafe toolkit, take a look at:

PELVIC Health

BREAST Health

MENSTRUAL Health & Cycle

Multi-Topic Resources

The Well HQ:

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!

Netball Her:

A fantastic, groundbreaking initiative re-writing the rules and reimagining best practice around the female body’s life stages. It is packed with infographics, videos, signposting and so much more.

The bitesize downloadable resources could be ideal to add to your websites, group chats & poster boards, to act as information & conversation starters

Open University badged course: Supporting female performance in sport and fitness:

Supporting female performance in sport and fitness

Supporting female performance in sport and fitness

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, Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat & Dr Bella Smith:

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.

The Game Changers – Fearless Women in Sport:

In this award-winning podcast, Sue Anstiss talks to trailblazers in women sport. These are the individuals who are knocking down barriers and challenging the status quo for women and girls everywhere.

Along with openly sharing their historic careers, what drives them and how they’ve dealt with tough challenges, each episode explores key issues for equality in sport and beyond.

Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport:

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.

Nutrition
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.

British Nutrition Foundation

Evidence-based information on food and nutrition in the context of health and lifestyle. Its objects are:

  • To advance the education of the public, and those involved in training and the education of others, in nutrition; and
  • To advance the study of and research into nutrition for the public benefit, and disseminate and publish the useful results of such research.

Take a look at the valuable information for women across the different life stages.

NetballHer Nutrition webpages

#PeriodPower is a huge fan of the NetballHer initiative & the nutrition pages are no exception.

“Nutrition can be contentious yet a few simple truths, facts and how-tos are key to staying energy-rich, injury-resilient, happy, healthy and positive.”