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Do you suffer breast pain every time you finish working out? Are your breasts sore and heavy when you wake up the next morning after a run or gym session?
If this sounds like you, the reason can be because you aren't wearing the right sports bra during workouts. Either your sports bra is the wrong fit for you, or you're simply wearing an everyday bra as you cover those miles or lift those weights.
For many, choosing the right sports bra is tricky. There are a lot of things to consider such as size, style, and purpose. The good news is all you need to do is follow a simple guide on eliminating the bras that are wrong for you, and selecting one that promises you comfort and freedom from pain.
But before we get into the guide for choosing the best bra for you, here are reasons why it's important to select the right one.
Three Reasons Why Choosing the Right Sports Bra is Important
Picking the right bra isn't as simple as strolling into your nearest fitness store and choosing the first one that attracts your attention. Instead, you need to find one that's the perfect fit. Here are three reasons why.
Wearing an Everyday Bra Doesn't Give Your Breasts the Right Support
Depending on the kind of sports you enjoy, your breasts need light to tight compression. This will keep them from bouncing around and getting injured as you exercise. Unfortunately, wearing an everyday bra gives little or no compression. It's no wonder you get breast pain when you go jogging or skiing wearing your favorite cotton bra.
Wearing the Wrong Sports Bra Causes Breast Pain
If you've purchased a sports bra but it's not the right shape or type for you, you'll still suffer breast pain problems. For instance, when you buy a bra that's too tight, your breasts will be overly compressed. The flow of your blood will be restricted, and your breasts will feel sore after your workout. On the other hand, when your bra is too large, your breasts won't get the support they need. This also leads to breast pain.
The Wrong Bra Can Cause Neck and Back Pain
A bra that's too tight causes pressure to build on the breast straps. This causes neck and back pain. If you constantly wear tight bras, permanent grooves can appear on your shoulders.
So in order to avoid these problems, it's necessary to find a bra that's the perfect size for you. Here are three things to consider when shopping for a sports bra.
The Kind of Sports You Enjoy
Surprisingly, there's no one sports bra that fits every sport out there. What you need to determine is whether the sport you love is low-impact, middle-impact, or low-impact. Here are some examples of each:
· Low-impact: Yoga, walking, and strength-training.
· Middle-impact: Cycling and hiking.
· High-impact: Running, aerobics, and mountain biking.
If you love a slow, leisurely walk in the park, go for a sports bra that fits snuggly but not too tightly. On the other hand, if you're training for a marathon, go for a tighter sports bra that gives you additional compression. The higher the impact of the sport you enjoy, the more compression you need.
The Type of Bra You Need
Sports bras come in many shapes and sizes. When you walk into your local fitness store, you'll easily see the difference. There are bras you pull over your head, bras with a separate cup for each breast, and so on.
So which type of bra is right for you? Here are three types to get familiar with.
The Compression Type Sports Bra
Compression sports bras restrict movement. They don't have any cups to support each breast. Instead, they work to pull your breasts tightly to your chest. This bra is best for moderate-level exercise.
The Encapsulation Type Sports Bra
This sports bra is closely related to your everyday bra. It consists of two separate cups that support each breast. If you plan to do light exercise, this is the right kind of bra for you.
Compression and Encapsulation Sports Bra
This bra is a combination of the two above. It features both cups and a design made for compression. Because it provides more support than either compression or encapsulation bra alone, it's perfect for high-impact exercise.
No matter how perfect the type of bra you choose, it'll still fall short if you don't select the size that's right for you. To help you stay on the right track and avoid mistakes, here are some tips on picking a bra that fits you perfectly.
Pick a Bra that's Tighter than Your Usual One
Sports bras are meant to prevent injury by restricting movement. When shopping for one, select a bra that gives you a nice, snug fit.
Don't Go Too Tight
You may be tempted to go for a sports bra that's too snug. While bras that compress do a good job in keeping your breasts from injury and pain, you shouldn't go too far with snugness. Instead, make sure you can still breathe deeply when you're wearing the bra.
Check the Cup Size
If you're choosing an encapsulated bra, test the cup size by centering your breasts within the cups. If there are wrinkles in the bra's fabric, the bra is too big for you. If your skin gets puckered at the sides, the bra is too tight.
Measure Between the Straps
A good rule of thumb when selecting the right bra is to ensure the straps fit you comfortably. To find the right size, try inserting two fingers between the strap and your shoulder. If your fingers feel snug but not too tight, the bra itself will fit you comfortably.
The Right Bra for Comfort and Safety
Exercise is excellent for the body, but it might not seem worth it if you always end your sessions with breast pain. The good news is dealing with it is as easy as finding the right bra to fit you and the intensity of your workout. When you consider the type of exercise you do, the kind of bra that'll give you comfort and support, and your size, you'll be on your way to painless and enjoyable exercise.