Many women would be happy to go out for a nice, energizing jog or run – if it weren’t for those pesky breasts! Especially for larger-breasted women, finding an effective sports bra can be a huge challenge – and comfort is often compromised for greater support.
Dr. Julie Steele, the director of Breast Research Australia (BRA), states, “unfortunately, the most supportive sports bras tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear. Making matters worse, BRA research has found that 85 percent of women are wearing bras that do not fit or support their breasts correctly.”
Wearing an ill-fitting bra, especially while you exercise, is detrimental to your health. If the bra is too tight (which is the case with many sports bras), it can impair your ability to breathe properly, and inhibit circulation. Bands that are too tight can cause skin irritation or lesions, and may cause digestive issues if they constrict your ribcage. If a bra is not supportive enough, it can lead to back pain – especially if you’re running or exercising intensely.
These bra challenges are why researchers at the University of Wollongong in Australia are working on designing a “bionic bra.” The “bionic bra” is essentially a sports bra made with “smart” fibers that release or tighten in response to the wearer’s movements. This will allow the bra to provide additional support without becoming uncomfortable.
The bionic bra is still in the design stage. Researchers state that they are working on a prototype in which the smart fibers will be interwoven throughout the entire bra.
Will the bionic bra perfectly hold our breasts in place, allowing large-breasted women to exercise without worrying about the bounce factor? Time will tell. In the meantime, when it comes to buying a sports bra (or any bra), do your research. It may help to have a professional bra fitting, and try on several different types, to see what gives you the most support and comfort.
Also remember, a bra is not forever – it’s effectiveness naturally lessens over time. Replace your bra every six to nine months. Smaller-breasted women who take very good care of their bras may be able to get away with keeping them for a year, but after that, it’s time for a change.
-The Alternative Daily