Is it Time to Replace Your Sports Bra?
When you finally find that perfect sports bra, it’s really comfortable and supportive, you want to keep using it again and again. But sports bras are given a much greater workout than your every day bra and still need to continually provide your breasts with the same level of support and comfort. So how can you tell if your sports bra is still up to the job?
As a guideline your sports bra should be replaced every 6-12 months. However this is only really a general rule of thumb as everyone uses their sports bra differently. “How long your sports bra stays strong and comfortable depends on the total number of wearings” says LaJean Lawson, PhD, an exercise scientist at Oregon State University and industrial designer who specialises in designing sports bras. (you can link to her Twitter page here). As well as frequency, the intensity of your workouts also comes into play. For example if you’re training for a marathon you would need to replace your bras about every 3 months. If you work out regularly but take part in lower impact activities, 6 months may be o.k. For regular exercisers it is recommended to rotate three to four sports bras to extend their lifespan.
It is great to get in the habit of regularly checking your sports bras. The bra’s band plays an essential role in supporting our breasts. If you give the band a gentle pull and you do not feel any resistance it’s a sure sign the elastic is worn out. The band should also lay flat against your torso without ripples or bulging. If your bra is under wired, giving this a once over could prevent your next workout being painful …I’m sure we have all experienced a loose bra wire before! Evidence of frayed elastics, broken stitching, twisting of seams or stretched straps are all signs your sports bra needs to be replaced…your breasts will thank you! Once a sports bra has started to break down you are at risk of developing sagging breasts from unsupported movement, which damages the breast ligaments. This applies to ALL cup sizes.
Still unsure? A sports bra provides almost twice the support compared to your regular everyday bra. Jump around in your regular bra and then change into your sports bra and do the same. Your breasts should feel significantly more supported in your sports bra, if not it’s time to replace.
When you lose or gain weight or have a baby your body changes, including your breasts. The sports bra that you love may now be too tight around the band, or ride up, or your breast tissue could be spilling out of the cup. It’s time to determine your correct size and think about the type of sports bra you need based on the activities you will be doing. Some women even need a different size bra for that certain time of the month when their breasts feel more tender and may also change in size.
An article on replacing your sports bra can also be found at health.com