Recently I read an interesting statistic: It’s estimated that over 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. If the lingerie business is a $13 billion dollar industry in the U.S., then we are spending an awful lot of money on the wrong bras!
Flipping through magazines, you’re likely to see gorgeous models wearing sexy bras that accentuate their lovely feminine assets. Perhaps that’s what’s driving the rest of us to spend a small fortune on fancy bras that make us look and feel fabulous.
But don’t forget that the bra has a very functional purpose. Since there are no muscles – only connective tissues – around our breasts, wearing the right bra can help support the weight of the breasts and prevent them from sagging.
This is especially important during exercise, because the momentum created by intense bouncing can stretch the breast’s connective tissues, causing sagging, and even pain. And a good bra can reduce this movement by over 50%.
No matter how big or small your breasts are, wearing an athletic bra provides much more support than a regular bra. So maybe it’s time to consider finding some good, properly fitting sports bras for your exercise regime. Here are some tips for you to consider:
Different Kinds of Bras
There are many types of athletic bras from which to choose. The compression bra is very popular and is designed to press the breasts against the chest to limit movement. If you prefer individual cups, an encapsulation bra is a good option. A combination compression/encapsulation bra provides the highest level of support.
Two options for straps are racer-backs and wide straps. Racer-backs are designed to have a snug fit, while wide strap bras can be better for women with bigger breasts because they more evenly distribute weight. Most properly fitting athletic bras are quite comfortable because they don’t have underwire and also come with ample side support. You can buy high quality athletic bras at many sporting goods retailers such as Worldwide Sport Supply. Victoria’s Secret also has some great selections.
How Should They Fit?
Above all an athletic bra should be comfortable. Compared to a regular bra, it will have a tighter fit; however, you should still be able to breathe easily and deeply when wearing one. Another criterion for a properly fitting bra is that it should stay securely in place. Avoid bras that rub or chafe your skin.
Taking Care of Your Bra
Athletic bras typically get a lot of punishment and lose their elasticity within a year of purchase. One step you can take to extend their lives is to take them off right after you finish exercising and rinse them out. This will get rid of some of the moisture and bacteria that breaks down the material. Washing a bra on the gentle cycle and hanging it out to dry when done also helps. Knowing when to replace your bra can save you a lot of discomfort. If it seems stretched out or too big, it’s time to put it to rest.
Wearing a properly fitting athletic bra can make exercising much more comfortable. It will also allow you to better focus your attention on working out. And with so many options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding one that’s not only functional and comfortable, but also enables you to look and feel great as well.