Articles from March 2009

Sports Bra

Working out might make you seek a burning sensation in your muscles and lungs, but the one place where you don’t want to feel anything uncomfortable is your chest.  Investing in a good sport bra – or two or three – is one of the most important things you can do as a woman beginning a fitness routine.  It doesn’t matter, either, whether you are well-endowed or not, although admittedly, those who are very well-endowed may have to shop a specialty store or online to find the right size.

When buying a sport bra, getting the right size is everything.  You really must be able to try it on in person, so if you have to order it online because of size needs, make sure the store has a return or exchange policy.  A sport bra that doesn’t fit right can affect your ability and your willingness to keep working out.

There are three main different kinds of sport bras: compression bras, encapsulation bras, and shimmels.  Compression bras press your breasts against your body to minimize bounce.  They go on and off over your head and work best with women who have A or B cup breasts.

Encapsulation bras are better for women with larger breasts.  Because they have individual cups, they often look more attractive.  They typically come with a clasp or hook closure.  For even better support, look for ones with webbing in the cups or underwire.

Shimmels are tank tops with built-in bras.  They may look great and keep you from showing a bra strap in the summer, but for all but the lightest of workouts, they are not very effective.  Use these types of sport bras for activities like yoga.

When shopping for your sport bra, be sure to look for a bra that has wider shoulder straps.  The wider the straps, the more comfortable the bra will be and the less likely it will be to cut into your skin.  Make sure the arm holes fit properly – the material should not rub against your arm or armpit at all.  Finally, make sure the sport bra is made of a material that wicks away moisture.  Cotton, although a soft material, holds water and can be very uncomfortable if you plan on breaking a sweat.  Make sure whatever enclosure the bra uses has material over it to protect your skin.

Once you find a bra you like, you may be tempted to buy several so that you don’t have to shop for them again soon.  My advice is to wait – all that exercise you are doing is bound to bring you down a size or two.  Save the shopping for celebrating your new size!

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