IN AN ARTICLE FOR SHAPE.COM Mary Anderson discusses research findings that confirm what many women suspect or know because of personal experience in, “How Your Breast Size Can Affect Your Fitness Routine”.
Anderson indicated that study results from research conducted by Dr. Celeste E. Coltman and colleagues from the University of Wollongong in Australia showed that “breast size has affected the amount and level of activity” performed by women with larger breasts compared to those with smaller sized breasts.
The research publication’s abstract explained that not only did large breasted women tend to perform “less total physical activity per week”, they were also apt to lower the intensity level of that activity “compared to their counterparts with smaller breasts.” The scientists studied the issue because they suspected some Australian women were avoiding healthy doses of physical activity because of exercise-induced breast discomfort or embarrassment.
An expert Anderson consulted for her article agreed that in addition to the physical pain of excessive breast motion, psychology may also determine the circumstances of exercise performance in women with larger breasts. Feeling uncomfortable around others who would be observing their moving breasts can lead some to avoid exercising in public, it seems.
That same expert, from the Champion Bra Lab, encourages such women to find the “right sports bra”, because doing so can “reduce movement by up to 74 percent”. She recommends wearing more than one bra, if necessary.
Although I don’t currently have much of an issue in the size category, I did in my younger child-bearing years. Now my concerns are due to age-related motion and appearance changes because of loss of natural support. It can still discourage my participation and enjoyment of sport.
Lap swimming presented such a situation for me until a couple years ago; it kept me out of the gym pool. Modern tank suits seemed to be designed for young competitors who cut through the water like dolphins, without need for much support or coverage. However bathing apparel for non-competitors appeared to be made for fashion and camouflage than for vigorous aerobic exercise.
Then I accidentally discovered a fix. I must have left my swimsuit behind on an earlier vacation but needed one for stand-up paddle-boarding at home. I retrieved an old, ugly dark green, chlorine-damaged suit from a forgotten gym bag that was a good fit everywhere but through the shoulders; the straps were stretched and couldn’t reliably stay put. There was a neon green Nike sports bra in the same bag. I decided to try wearing them both; the bra’s presence under the suit kept the top in place so it wouldn’t fall off. Anyway, if it did I was covered.
This ‘fix’ also addressed the breast support issue that was keeping me from swimming laps; it worked perfectly! After that I separately purchased 2 new items to wear together as a tank-sports bra combination. The next combo was blue/black. I shopped to find a few more brightly colored sports bras under different tank suits to flaunt my unique style, which included wearing a bubble-gum pink cap with gray goggles.
I should have tumbled to the swim support solution much earlier because in my 20’s- 40’s I had worn 2 sports bras for running. It was easier and less expensive to use two different types of bras to limit excess motion than one perfect bra. Back then I figured that is was better to place fashion-appearance lower on my list of priorities than running performance.
Is body part movement holding you back when it comes to participation in athletic activities?
Mentally, Anderson’s bra expert suggests women embrace the fact of movement as natural in addition to finding the right motion-control sports apparel.
Earned Runs agrees. After all, there are other “wobbly bits” of the body that can show some jiggle and bounce during physical activity. The backs of arms, soft bellies, ample thighs, and even neck tissues. We should utilize appropriate support gear but try not to let mental pictures of imagined unattractive body parts keep us from striving to achieve healthy levels of athletic participation.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-7i7-KjkiE Bridget Jones in movie Edge of Reason
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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