Ever notice how just buying workout apparel can motivate you to hit the gym for the first few days? Perhaps, we all have an exhibitionist side to us; one that finds comfort in the mere fact that a cute sports bra lies underneath that dowdy, sweaty workout tee and makes us feel fabulous.
It is in fact one of the first things you should invest in—second only to the right kind of trainers—before you take up an exercise routine. Your breasts are essentially made up of fats (adipose and glandular tissue), which in women have a free range of motion when they are working out. This is exaclty why, the right kind of support is of utmost importance in order to prevent discomfort, soreness, pain and sagging of the breast tissues.
Sports Bra Basics
Of the lot, racer back straps seem to provide the best support courtesy their design, and wider straps and bands. As for the cup style, you could opt for encapsulation bras, which support the breasts individually if your boobs are wide-set; or, a compression bra works great as it ties down the breasts real close, in order to prevent too much movement and bounce. Remember to always test the band by taking a couple of jumps to see that the bra sits firmly and everything remains intact (including the side-boobs). Also, note that sportsbras are generally tighter fitting than regular ones, so don’t be alarmed by their constrained proportions; however, the idea is not to suffocate you either.
Perspiring is inevitable when you workout, therefore the bra you buy must be of breathable fabric that does not soak up sweat or incubate moisture. Stick to the likes of coolmax, wickaways and supplex, and steer clear of cotton, satin, lace and net in terms of materials. They can lead to skin irritation, rashes, infection and inflammation too.
Bra Wear & Tear
Needless to say, your sports bra requires a wash after every workout, but, sometimes a simple soak in soapy water is enough. This is especially true for when you take on an indoor class, or it’s cold outside and don’t sweat as much. However, a more strenuous activity would require you to really get in there and clean out that bra, considering the very first layer (closest to the skin) is where all the bacteria gets trapped.
On an end note, be sure to not wear the same bra for consecutive days as this will wear down the elastic. Also, fabric softeners are a no-no, and can ruin the fit of your active wear. To prolong the life of a sports bra, hand wash and hang it to dry. Either way, invest in new ones every six months for a firm fit; be sure to get yourself re-sized in case you’ve put on, or lost weight.