- Jenn Gill
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and with the increased awareness in breast health, it's important to think about how we support our girls inside and out, especially when running or working out. While we runners and walkers love the simplicity of our sport, there are a few critical pieces of equipment that you need to stay injury-free and well-supported. This includes a pair of good running shoes, moisture-wicking socks and apparel and a properly fitted sports bra.
Weight loss or weight gain, pregnancy and breastfeeding are only some of the factors that can change your breast size or shape. If you've had any of these changes and haven't upgraded your bra wardrobe chances are you are wearing the wrong-sized bra. In addition, just like running shoes, sports bras do wear out over time due to repeated washings and extended use. Sports bras should be replaced every 6-12 months. Take a look at your sports bras. If you can stretch them out excessively, maybe even fling them like a rubber band, chances are they're not giving you the support you need.
The wrong-sized or worn-out sports bra can cause a host of problems, from neck strain and back pain to sagging breasts. I recently came across a study conducted by Joanna Scurr, a biomechanics professor at the University of Portsmouth in England, which emphasizes just how important it is to have a proper-fitting bra while exercising.
Scurr analyzed 70 women with bra sizes ranging from A-cup to extra large (including cup sizes over DD). Each woman walked, jogged and ran while wearing different bra types. During the exercise, the amount of breast movement in three directions was measured: up and down, side-to-side and in and out. As women increased their exercise intensity, their breasts moved proportionally more in some directions than others.
In addition, a wrong-sized or worn-out sports bra that doesn't control the bouncing during exercise, may lead to a condition called Cooper's droop. Cooper's droop is when the connective tissue strands in the breasts called Cooper's Ligaments are stretched, leading to permanent sagging of the breasts.
Don't just pick a sports bra out because it 'might' be the right size for you or because you like the color! Let us help you. We have a Personal FIT Process for not only our footwear, but also sports bras. We take your measurements, recommend the best bras for you and show you how a good bra should fit and feel. A good sports bra will provide superior breast support, comfort, breathability and moisture-control. Notice I said 'a' sports bra - not two or more! Yes, it's true, when you find the right sports bra, you'll only need to wear one at a time! We have a fabulous selection of sports bras for all shapes and sizes and support levels. No matter what your needs and preferences are, size A - DDD, racerback or not, we have what you need!
Take the time to take care of yourself. You're already trying to live a healthy, active lifestyle by working out and exercising. Give yourself a chance to be successful by wearing the right equipment. When you feel good, chances are you'll continue challenging yourself and reach new heights, no matter what you do!