According to Shock Absorber, a leading sports-bra brand, a high percentage of women exercise without a sports bra. And finding the right bra size for everyday wear doesn’t always mean that picking a sports bra in the same size will give you an equally perfect fit. Follow these steps to ensure you find a bra that gives you the right support for your level of activity.
1. MEASURE UP
Stand in front of the mirror and take measurements of your chest with the tape measure over your bust and again under your bust, making sure that the tape measure stays at the same level. If you find that you are between sizes, choose the bigger cup size.
2. WHAT’S YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL?
Because different sports require different levels of support, most sports bras have been designed to ensure you’re given the best support, no matter your level of activity. For example, during a high-impact activity such as running, your breasts need more support than during a low-impact activity like yoga. Look out for labels that indicate which activity the bra is most suited for; low, medium or high. Also, some may even indicate that certain bra sizes choose a higher-impact bra for low or medium activities.
3. NO-SWEAT FABRIC
Most bras are made with moisture-wicking fabrics that have been design to draw moisture from the skin to keep you dry and prevent chafing. Look out for words such as CoolMax and Cool Cotton on the label.
4. DO THE TEST
When you’ve found the bra that fits you perfectly, simulate the movements of your workout. Jump, lift your arms up and swing them around, and bend over – the bra should feel secure and comfortable. Look out for any bulges and check whether your breasts stay in place. Also make sure that the bra doesn’t ride up. Take a few deep breaths; the bra should be snug but not constricting. If there is bulging at the cups, it means the bra is too small and if there’s wrinkling, it means the cup size is too big. Check that the centrepiece of an encapsulation bra (a bra with two separate cups) lies flat against your breastbone. If it lies away from your body, you should try a larger cup size. Also, the back of the bra shouldn’t ride up. If it does, get a smaller size.
5. WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR SPORTS BRA
Other than the obvious signs that you need a new sports bra – loss of elasticity, fabric tears and an increase in breast movement during activity – if you wear your bra three to four times a week, you will need to replace it every six to 12 months.