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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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The Bounce Stops Here

Sports bras are an essential item of clothing for active women of all ages — whether you are a teenage athlete, an avid runner, or simply a daily walker. Recent research has shed new light on the importance of wearing a good sports bra, even for small-breasted women. The breast biomechanics research team at the University of Portsmouth headed by Dr. Joanne Scurr has scientifically studied the movement of the breasts during exercise. She found that women's breasts bounce more than previously estimated and not just the vertical bounce. While walking, women's breasts moved relatively the same amount in all directions. But when participants jog or run, their breasts moved proportionally more in some directions than others. The overall pattern of the movement resembled a figure eight. One of the conclusions of the research is that women could unknowingly be damaging their breasts by wearing the wrong type of bra.

    It’s important to have proper support in any type of bra since breasts have little natural support, but a sports bra is specifically designed to not only support, but to eliminate the bounce. The bouncing, especially for those with larger breasts, is not only painful, but can damage the breast's connective tissues and cause sagging. A pair of D-cup breasts weighs about 15 to 23 pounds and the momentum created by bouncing can stretch these connective tissues even further. Surprisingly, even small breasted women can experience just as much discomfort and “bounce” as someone who wears a large cup size. Some women may even be wearing an old, stretched out bra for exercise because they do not realize how important proper support is to their breast health.
    There are two main types of sports bras: compression and encapsulation. Compression bras do not have cups and give somewhat of a mono-breast look. They minimize bounce by keeping the breasts squished closer to the body. If you don’t mind the shape, compression bras can be suitable for smaller breasted women. Encapsulation-style sports bras give a more feminine shape to the breasts and provide the most support for all cup sizes. Encapsulation bras limit movement in all directions where the compression bras only limit the up-and-down motion.
Features to consider in a
sports bra
• For any bra to provide support, it must fit properly. More than 70 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra, including sports bras, and it’s estimated that as many as 80 percent of women don’t have enough support for their breasts while exercising.
• The correct size and fit can be difficult to determine yourself. Buy from a specialty store with experienced and knowledgeable sales people where you can try on different styles.
• A sports bra must be comfortable and move to adapt to your motion. Look for wide straps, flat, soft seams to prevent skin irritation, and adjustable hooks and straps.
• Sports bras should be made from technical fabrics designed to breathe and wick moisture away from your skin.
• Bras need to be replaced every six months to a year. The elastic stretches out and it loses support.
• No matter what the care label says, avoid drying bras in the dryer as heat weakens the fabric.

    A good, well-fitting sports bra is a must for any type of physical activity — not just sports. Whether you already lead an active lifestyle or are just beginning to exercise, make sure to consider your sports bra as carefully as you select your shoes. A properly fitting, well-designed sports bra will provide maximum support, motion control, and comfort so you can participate in any activity without embarrassment or pain. Gone are the days when doubling up two compression bras was the only option. Today’s sports bras offer more choices than ever before and many are versatile enough to function as an everyday bra that may actually be more comfortable in hot weather.

    For more information, you may contact Brenda at Bedtime Boutique at 309-827-0660. They are located at 416 N. Madison St. in Bloomington. Their expert fitters are trained to determine your proper bra size and they specialize in hard-to-find sizes.


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