SAN DIEGO - A recent study confirms that a large majority of women experience breast discomfort while exercising. And to compound the problem, they don't know where to turn for advice, opting instead to either suffer in silence or avoid exercise altogether.
To help reduce this problem and keep women exercising, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends selecting a sports bra that's right for you, and offers the following pointers:
- There are two types of sports bras to consider: compression bras and encapsulation, harness-type bras. The compression bra works best for smaller-busted women because it compresses the breasts against the chest. The
harness-type encapsulates each breast and is typically better suited for larger-busted women due to its heavy-duty construction.
- Don't go by the size of the bra, go by the fit. Breast size changes with weight loss or gain, menstrual cycle or medication.
- Choose a bra that has good ventilation so sweat won't be trapped, which increases friction and chaffing. New fabrics such as CoolMax and Nike's DriFit help keep skin cool and dry.
- Make sure the clasps or straps don't dig into your skin. A good sports bra should fit comfortably from the very first wearing.
- When trying on a bra, jump around and try to mimic as best you can the activity you'll be doing while wearing the bra. You may want a different type of bra for lower-impact sports than you would for aerobics or jogging.
- Over time, elasticity is lost. Sports bras should be replaced every six months to a year.