Sunday, 5 February 2017

Lock Your Ladies Down

Did you know more than 70% of women are wearing the wrong size of bra???

I’ll give you a minute to digest that number…70%!

And here’s another fun fact for you, Brooks’ research found that 25% of women don’t work out as hard as they could because of breast bounce.  WHAT?!

Both stats are crazy but I want you to know that you don’t have to be a part of those statistics.  You can be a woman who has fully supported breasts.  One who never worries about breast bounce during workouts.  You can give it your all and never fear that your breasts are going to become saggy from lack of support – YES! That is a thing. 

You might be asking yourself, how? How do I find out about proper fitting sports bras and what to look for when shopping?  How do I know if my sports bra is fitting correctly? 
I have compiled all of the information you will need to know to answer these very important questions.  
So, for the sake of your breasts, 
READ ON LADIES. READ ON!

Let’s start with some general breast information.
-       Breasts have no muscles. They are made up of fatty tissue stuck to the chest, and all that is holding them up are fibrous strands called Cooper’s ligaments.
-       Physical activity makes breasts bounce up, down and even in a figure eight.  Yes- even an A cup sized breast will move.  Check out Shock Absorber’s bounce-o-meter to see just how much movement different activities can cause. 
-       If the breast is bouncing around, even a little bit, then the Cooper’s ligament is getting stretched, IRREVERSIBLY I might add, leading to saggy breasts and breast discomfort or pain. Not to mention back pain, trouble breathing and improper exercise form.  Nobody wants any of that!


SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT OUR BREASTS?

1.     Get fitted to make sure you are wearing the correct size.  
      Keep in mind that each bra style and brand will have a different fit so use your size as a starting point.  Furthermore, your breasts are continually changing so it’s important to be fitted often.  Check out this video for measurement tips.
   
2.     Choose a bra with the correct amount of support for your cup size. 
Take a look at the chart below to find out what type of bra construction you need to provide the right amount of support for your cup size. 
      
Type
Function
Recommendation
Some Examples
Compression
Holds breast tissue close to chest to limit movement
-good for low impact activities for all sizes
-A or B cup might get enough support for high impact activities
-Most LuLuLemon bras
-Most Victoria’s Secret Sports bras
-Nike Sports bras
-Brooks Moving Comfort Front Runner
-Baobei Maternity Nursing Sports Bra 
Encapsulation
Built with individual cups that surround and support each breast.
Helps limit the up, down and circular movement of the breast.
-everyday wear for all sizes
-Everday bras from LaSenza, Victoria’s Secret, The Bay
Combination
Uses both compression and encapsulation and provides the most support.
-C cup or larger need this type of bra for ample support, especially during high impact activities

-Brooks Moving Comfort Juno, Jubralee and Rebound Racer
-LuluLemon Ta Ta Tamer
-Victoria’s Secret Knockout
-Adidas Committed Chill



3.     Wear a sports bra with the appropriate support for the activity you are doing. 
       Low impact activities generally require less support than high impact. 

Low Impact
Medium Impact
High Impact
 Walking
Yoga
 Strength Training
Hiking
Skiing
Cycling
Running
Jumping
Mountain Biking


4.     These are the key areas to check for a good fit:

Band: The majority of bra support comes from the band. It wraps around the bottom and is the foundation of a bra. A properly fitting bra will have a band that is snug and parallel to the ground. Wide bands are more supportive than narrow bands. The band should fit slightly tighter than a regular bra, but not so tight that you can't comfortably take a deep breath. To make sure you have the right size, raise your hands over your head. If the band moves, you need a smaller band or the straps may need to be adjusted.

Shoulder straps: These straps hold up the cups but are not the bra's main support. They should provide minimal stretch to reduce up-and-down movement. Wide straps provide better support and comfort than narrow ones. Straps should not slip off or press into your shoulders. 

Adjustable straps: Straps that are adjustable allow you to customize the fit and are often found on encapsulation style sports bras.  This is also a great feature for nursing mothers.  Ensure that the buckles or Velcro or clips do not cause any chaffing or discomfort. 

Back closure: Many sports bras pull on over your head, which can be a struggle once you’re sweaty.  I know you’ve all done that special dance, twisting and turning and bending every which way trying to get that bra off. 


A back closure allows for ease when putting on and taking off the bra and also allows for further adjustment.  You want the back closure to be on the first hook when you buy it so you can tighten the band as the bra stretches over time.  This is also key for nursing mothers as you will get more use out of your bra as your breast size changes with your growing baby. 

Cups: The cup fabric should be smooth. Wrinkles or puckers indicate the cup is too big.  If you’re spilling out of your bra, the cup size is too small.




5.     Test the bra. 
Once you feel like you’ve got a good fit and support, give some movement a try.  Don’t be     afraid to jump around in the change room, do some jumping jacks or run in a spot. Even give that sweaty bra removal dance a try.  You'll be able to feel and see whether the bra gives you the support you need.

6.     Take good care of your investment. 
Let’s be realistic, a good sports bra is an investment, just like good running shoes or good jeans.  To prolong the life of your investment make sure you hand wash them in cold water or use the delicate cycle and a lingerie bag, always hang to dry and never use fabric softener. 

7.     Replace your sports bra every 70-100 uses or around a year. 
As a general rule, if you are replacing your running shoes, you should also be replacing your bra.  However, don’t wait to replace your sports bra if you notice that elastic is frayed, there are rips or tears in the fabric, the straps are stretched or you feel that it isn’t providing the same amount of support it did when you first bought it. 


I am a huge fan of the Brooks’ Moving Comfort Bras.  I love the fit and support and they are nursing friendly! There are so many adjustable parts, which make them perfect for pregnant and nursing mamas.  

Here’s one last video to help you find the perfect bra to support your breasts.


Now that you have all of the information you need to select the proper bra, 
lock your ladies down and take care of your breasts.  
Choose a bra that gives your breasts the amount of support you need for your breast size and the activities you will be doing. 

Happy supporting!  

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