Natural Family Health Care
You run daily, or maybe engage in aerobic exercise. You hear a lot about sports bras, but think maybe they’re just another “gimmick” – not really necessary – after all, what could they possibly have over wearing a regular bra?
Ask women who wear one if there is a difference and they will let you know, in no uncertain terms, that there absolutely is. And what is that difference? Actually what they, and sports bra manufacturers, will tell you is this:
• Sports bras prevent exercise-related breast pain by keeping breasts from bouncing which can cause some minor damage to breast tissue
• They help to prevent breast irritation and chafing that regular bras can cause.
According to a study conducted at the Australian Institute of Sport, sports bras actually help to reduce exercise-related breast pain. Because they are specifically designed for sports comfort, and not for fashion, they help to limit breast movement, resulting in fewer complaints of exercise-induced breast pain.
What to look for in choosing a sports bra? Here are several suggestions:
• Get the right fit – more than 70% of all women don’t know how to properly measure themselves to determine their proper bra size. First, determine your chest measurement. Use a tape measure to measure the area around your chest, under your arms and above your breasts. This is your numerical breast measurement. Next, measure around the fullest part of your breast. To get the cup size, subtract your chest measurement from this measurement and use the following table to determine cup size, the alphabetic portion of your bra size.
|If the difference is…||Your cup size is…|
|Less than 1″||AA|
• Check the material – make sure that the fabric will wick moisture away from your skin to keep you feeling cooler while you exercise. Damp fabrics tend to promote chafing and rashes.
• Determine the proper level of support– small-breasted women might like a compression-type sports bra that holds the breasts firmly, while larger-breasted women might prefer an underwire or “natural shape” style.
Your best bet when purchasing any type of sports bra for the first time is to try it on and move around in it to see how it feels. Try performing some of the motions of the sport in which you participate (jump, run in place, reach) to check comfort.
Oh… and when a sports bra becomes stretched out or loses its elasticity – it’s definitely time to buy a new one to maintain the proper level of support.