Researchers at St Mary’s University, Twickenham are looking for women to have their say and a chance to help drive forward research and exercise performance.
Georgie Bruinvels and Dr Charles Pedlar have been pioneering research in the area of exercising women, which is significantly behind that of men. Their article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, highlighted that this was partly due to complexities surrounding the menstrual cycle and historically due to concerns around the potential for damaging unborn foetuses.
Georgie is running a questionnaire for regularly exercising women to expand their research, and find out more about the impact of the changes in female hormones responsible for the menstrual cycle.
A previous study from the group found that one in two women say their menstrual cycle affects their performance and Georgie is hoping to find out in her new study more about why this is, and to help inform future strategies to help women perform at all times in their cycle and in all walks of life.
A free app, FitrWoman, that they have developed, helps exercising women perform at their best on any given day. It provides women with day to day information about training, nutrition and susceptibility to physical and psychological factors. One feature includes recipes based on where women are in their cycle.
Georgie said, “This is such an exciting time for female sport with areas developing all the time. We are hoping this new study will help women understand their bodies more and empower them to optimise their performance on any one day, which seems particularly apt on International Women’s Day.”
Dr Pedlar added, “So many women have to deal with the effects of their hormones without a helpful source of information. It’s generally an awkward subject to broach and this App and our research helps to break down the taboo and help women to enjoy their sport and perform at their best.”
Anyone who would be willing to take part in the questionnaire and help improve the understanding of the female athlete can do so online. Participants will get some unique insights into their own menstrual cycle, in addition to some key strategies and advice.
Georgie is available for interview. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 8240 8262.