If the thought of working out or competing in a sport is enough of a reason to send shudders down your spine – if your breasts cause pain.
In one study (yes there was such a study done…), it was found that breasts were ranked an incredible fourth as a barrier to exercise after lack of energy, time constraints and health reasons. Untamable breasts were ranked higher than other obstacles including the cost of exercise, access to facilities, not having the right clothing, not having any company while exercising, and feeling embarrassed about doing sport.
The research – published online in the Journal Of Physical Activity And Health – found that 17% of the 239 women surveyed were discouraged from participating in physical activity because of their breasts.
The most influential factors preventing women from taking exercise include not being able to find the right sports bra and being embarrassed by excessive breast movement.
It’s so sad to hear women who suffer pain and discomfort is ENOUGH to stop them from exercising. So, this brings me to the subject of sporting bras.
I have had my fair share of road testing sports bras across multiple disciplines. Across all levels (low, medium, high impact) and sports bras that can be used in the water and out. I do understand the difference a good sports bra makes and the importance of keeping things ‘locked down’ to avoid premature dropping and sagging.
How to Choose the Best Sports Bra for You
1. Choose a wide strap
A wide strap offers more support and spreads the load across your shoulder rather than one point (which quite often acts as a pressure point to a headache!). Remember to replace your sports bra every couple of months if it is being washed regularly as it will lose its elasticity and effectiveness.
2. Have a couple of bras for different activities
I don’t like wearing a super-secure running bra while I am doing yoga and vice versa. Choose the impact level of your activity and dress accordingly. Underwires can get in the way of pilates and yoga workouts, which are breath and stretch orientated. Running quite often requires an underwire for extra security and walking can be comfortably be done in a simple cross-back exercise number.
3. Different fabrics for different tactics
If you are going in the water for a surf, sup or swim, bikini’s simply don’t cut it. Choose a sports bra/crop that is lycra based and dries quickly rather than cotton. There are some super stylish numbers out there that don’t need to be hidden under another layer and will give you the sporty look and double up beautifully with a simple black bikini bottom (BTW, bikini bottoms with side ties or front cords stay on way better in the ocean). Look for a swimsuit with underwire also.
4. Sometimes one isn’t enough
I went through a stage while I was breastfeeding my girls that one bra simply wasn’t enough and if there was too much bounce it felt like my milk ducts were scared off and on strike at the next feed. This is when I found it helpful to wear two bras to form extra support and offer different angles of support. True story!
There is a bit of trial and error when finding your own personal sports bra holy grail and when you do find it… buy three! A bra may fit, cup wise, but unfortunately maybe too tight around the band or need adjustable straps. The more time spent researching the best sports bra equates to more enjoyment while exercising. X