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It’s Race for Life season again and  we will be joining in the Worcester event on Sunday 17th July, along with thousands of other lovely ladies.  And we hope that all of the runners are properly supported themselves!

In a survey conducted at the 2012 London Marathon, 32% of women indicated they experience breast pain while running.  This isn’t surprising as, when women are running, uncontained breasts can oscillate up to 8 inches! This movement is not only up and down, it’s also side to side and front to back. It has been proven through motion studies that the breasts actually move in a figure of 8 pattern during running!

Despite this fact researchers estimate that, of the 12 million British women who regularly exercise, 75% don’t wear a proper sports bra —even though they can reduce bounce by up to 74%.

Every woman has different needs for a sports bra. Some women will need more compression, others will need more cupping, while others need a combination of the two!   Generally the larger your cup size, the greater the force on the breasts and the more they need to be restrained to avoid damage to connective tissue and ligaments.

It is also important to take into consideration the level & intensity of your activity. Running and jumping are going to require more support than Pilates or biking, so certain types of bras will be more appropriate for certain activities. Make sure you are in a bra that is designed to handle the activity you are performing.

As a general rule if your breasts are on the smaller side, look for a compression sports bra in a racerback style. These hold your breasts tight against your chest to minimise any movement.  However, if your breasts are large, a sports bra with separate cups will provide better all round support. Look for one with wide straps and a back clasp. It should fit very snugly.

Just like running shoes, sports bras break down over time and they will become stretched out through regular wearing and washing. Once this happens, they no longer provide the support that they once did and should be replaced.  Regular runners are generally advised to replace their sports bra when they replace their running shoes (every 6 – 12 months depending on activity level).

If you’re taking part in this years event, enjoy yourself and keep your assets and your charity supported!