Periods. There We’ve Said It

Whether the word fills you with giggles or makes you cringe with embarrassment, it’s important to remember that it’s completely natural and happens to all girls!
We’re about to blow you away with some awesome insight to female health and wellbeing thanks to TOM Organic. At NETFIT we’re on a mission to normalise the conversation around all the things that will keep us on top of our game.
Note: I am sharing my experiences from my personal athletes perspective on my monthly cycle . It can be a sensitive issue for many so please note, the topics explored are connected to personal values, family backgrounds and spiritual beliefs.
So let’s make this tricky time of the month a breeze to survive. And I hope your biggest take away from reading this article is that NOTHING can get in the way of us girls kicking our goals.
The Painful Truth 
Most girls will be aware of the cramps and low energy levels that this time can bring and elite netballers are not immune. My cramps can sometimes be so bad they often leave me curled into a foetal position.  So I always try to make day one an easy or a rest day from my training. If that is not the case with scheduled team training, then it is so important that you let your coach know how you are feeling. That way they will understand your physical condition and either rest you or reduce your training intensity.
Other symptoms I get is an achy back and heavy quads in the two days leading up to my period, which makes strength training a bit tougher. Because I am aware of this I monitor my training output and continually check in with my body.
It is common that our sleep is disturbed leading up to our period as a change in hormones can affect us falling and staying asleep. I am not sure if you guys are similar to me, but when I get tired, I can get a little bit cranky. This is why I believe it is so important to check in with ourselves and priorities sleep when we really need it.
Survival Tips
Consider a low impact work. Yoga or walking helps me relax my muscles. However Research shows that aerobic exercise like netball, can help ease symptoms.
I learnt that we should cut back sugar, salt, caffeine, dairy, and alcohol which help make a big difference in some symptoms like bloating and fluid retention.
Increase carbs! WooWho! Researchers believe that eating frequent, smaller portions of foods high in complex carbohydrates like brown bread, help mood swings.
Manage our stress. Studies have shown a clear link between feelings of stress and our monthly cycle, so learning to cope with everyday stressors may help reduce our symptoms. So let’s revisit our ‘go to’ for handing stress. Yoga, meditation, writing notes, cooking or listen to our favourite tunes are perfect to ease our mind.
And the last fun fact I learnt from TOM Organics is that we may be better at fighting off the flu during the middle of our cycle with the spike in Oestrogen being proven to assist with immunity.
A little bit about TOM Organic 
TOM Organic believe it or not is, organic. They offer conscious period care products that are good for your body and the planet. Natural and organic products sourced from organic cotton farms, meaning they are free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides and are biodegradable.
Does anyone actually know what tampons and pads are made from? I definitely didn’t. In Australia it actually isn’t mandatory for hygiene brands to list their ingredients on their packaging. This means a lot of people like you and I aren’t aware of what pads and tampons are made out of, but let me inform you… Majority of period products are made out of wholly synthetic or non organic cotton.
Fun fact number 3- conventional cotton is the most heavily sprayed cotton in the world 20% of the worlds pesticides and herbicides are used on cotton crops. Considering women use up to 10,000 tampons in their lifetime TOM Organic prioritises the importance of knowing what is inside their products.
Today we are super lucky because TOM Organic have recognised the essential elements to overall health that well believe in at NETFIT Netball;
– Importance of moving our bodies
– Connecting with the community
– And having fun.
I hope this helps our NETFIT community come together and normalising this topic which plays such a vital role in all our lives.