Arguably the most important piece of sports equipment is … your sports bra!
Active women need good support to prevent sagging or pain. During exercise, your girls move up and down, side to side, and in and out. Today’s sports bras offer great fabrics and fits for all shapes, sizes and activities.
According to Julie Baxter, vice president at Moving Comfort, fit is critical when shopping for a sports bra. Baxter emphasizes that size may change with weight, pregnancy and age.
- The band should feel snug, more so than your regular bra, but not restrictive. When you raise your arms, the band should stay in place and not ride up.
- Your girls should fit into the cups without overflowing. Many bras offer a bit of padding for a modest look.
- The straps should be fairly tight with little stretch, which prevents bounce. Wider straps are more comfortable and supportive.
To get a proper fit, consider your rib cage measurement and cup size. But there’s no substitute for trying on a bra and moving in it.
Size and activity matter
Sports bras vary depending on your size and type of activity. A bra you wear for yoga won’t provide enough support for running. Bra makers classify bras by activity impact levels: low, medium and high. It’s best to have different bras for yoga, walking and running.
Sports bras are usually compression, encapsulation or a combination of both. Compression bras, which hold the girls in tight, are best for A and B cups. Encapsulation bras, which have separate cups, support C cups and up. When trying on a new bra, simulate the activity to check the bounce and comfort factor.
Fabric and care
Your old cotton sports bra gets wet when you sweat and stays wet, which can cause skin irritation. Bras made with synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics breathe, allowing sweat to evaporate and keeping you dry. Like all breathable clothing, use a gentle detergent and line dry. Baxter suggests replacing worn bras every six to 12 months, as the fabric and elastic breaks down.
This month, when we focus on breast health, is the perfect time to upgrade your support—maybe even grab a bright pink bra that will give your spirit and your girls a boost!