How Important Is Wearing A Sports Bra?
So is wearing a sports bra while working out really important?
The short answer, YES!
Despite the fact that many people think sports bras are just there to look pretty, or are only useful for larger chested women - they are a crucial part of your workout wardrobe!
Why sports bras are important
If there is one thing (apart from sneakers) that you should spend your money on, then it is definitely a sports bra. The reasons for this are:
The correct support
Most forms of exercise make your breasts bounce up and down, regardless of your cup size. Now this isn’t a laughing matter as it can pose serious risks to your health. Our breasts are made up of fatty tissue which is surrounded by skin and fragile ligaments called ‘Cooper’s Ligaments’. The problem with this is once Cooper’s ligaments are stretched or broken down, they will sag and nothing can fix this. It doesn’t matter whether you breasts are big or small, we all have Cooper’s ligaments that can be broken down over time and they won’t bounce back.
When choosing a sports bra make sure to consider whether you are going to be doing high or low impact exercise, or especially jumping exercises like plyometrics as there are different bras to suit each of these. It is also important that you get the right fit, there are a few different sports bras out there ranging from compression bras (which look like crop tops) to ones with inbuilt cups (similar to regular bras). Choosing the right bra will depend on your cup size, preference and activity level.
More comfort during activity
Underwires digging into your skin, need I say more? There is nothing more annoying than straps falling down, hooks becoming loose and things coming out when trying to do an intense workout. By wearing a sports bra you are also able to regulate the temperature of your body a little better (important if you’re trying to keep up your fitness when it’s hot) because most are made out of fabrics that won’t make you as hot and sweaty. And whilst we are on the topic of sweat, do you really want to ruin that perfect lace number you bought with the large amounts of sweat trying to escape your body? I didn't think so.
If you workout without a bra, or just use a standard t-shirt bra you are more at risk of developing back and breast pain as a result of this. Sports bras are specially designed to support your breasts ALL the way around, making sure they are secure and your skin can breathe.
No matter what type of exercise you do, whether it's a short walk or an intense jump rope workout, buying a good quality sports bra is the same as buying good quality sneakers, it will support your body and enhance your workout routine!
How often should you wash your sports bra?
How often you wash your sports bra will vary on a number of factors, such as how intense your workouts are (e.g. how much of a sweat you work up!) or how strictly you apply the "sniff test". While you may want to wash your sports bra after every workout if you tend to do a lot of sweating, cleaning every 3-4 workouts will usually be often enough.
How to wash a sports bra
Let’s face it, a good sports bra is usually not cheap, so knowing how to make them last is pretty important. Taking a few minutes to properly wash and dry your sports bra can make a huge difference to how often you need to replace it.
Take it off after you workout
If you’ve done one of my HIIT workouts, you’ve probably worked up a bit of a sweat! That also means you should take off your sweaty bra ASAP. Not only is it better for your skin to take off sweat-drenched clothes straight away, but it’s better for the clothes too. Sweat and bacteria that accumulates during your workout can actually cause the fabrics to break down.
Before you wash
Depending on the type of sports bra you wear, you should take a moment to do up any clasps or fastenings before you pop the bra in the wash. That way they won’t snag on anything else in the wash. If you have a lingerie bag for washing your delicates, you can pop your sports bra in that too!
Washing sports bras
Whether you hand wash or machine wash is totally up to you. If you choose to machine wash, make sure you select the delicate cycle. I’ve talked about the kind of detergents and settings you should use for washing workout clothes, and these can apply to your sports bra too. As a general rule of thumb, follow the directions on the label and steer clear of fabric softener.
Drying sports bras
After washing, reshape your bra and hang it to air dry. Don’t put it in the dryer! The best ways to hang your bra are by the gusset (the fabric between the underwire, or in between the cups if there is no underwire) or by laying it flat. That way the band won’t be stretched out as it dries.
When to replace a sports bra
The correct fit is everything in a sports bra or crop. Here are a few signs you need to replace yours:
The tags are faded and no longer readable
The band is stretched and no longer fits snugly
You’re noticing more movement in the bra when you workout
It’s pilling (getting balls) or looking worn in particular spots
If you’ve lost weight and the bra is no longer fitting you correctly
The bra rides up when you raise your arms.
Depending on how often it gets worn, you may need to replace a sports bra every 6-12 months.
Your crop tops and sports bras protect your breasts when you work out, so it’s a really good idea to take care of them. I hope these tips help you!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.