Failing to wear a supportive and properly fitting sports bra during exercise can lead to permanent breast damage whether you have experienced pain or not. This applies to very small breasts too.
Prevent Permanent Damage and Sagging
Breasts are made of mostly mammary glands and soft tissue with limited support structures called Coopers Ligaments. A supportive and well fitting sports bra will protect your breasts and minimise damage to the soft tissue and Coopers Ligaments.
Coopers Ligaments supports the breast tissue and “keeps the girls up”. Think of a simple rubber band…if continually stretched and stretched it will become longer and will not bounce back . This same principle applies to the Coopers Ligaments and skin when your breasts are not properly supported during exercise. It means that breast support that comes from your bra is extremely important especially during exercise. Even the smallest sizes can experience permanent tissue damage over time if you neglect to give them the right support.
When you participate in even mild exercise your breasts will bounce and it is this action that can damage soft tissue and stretch the delicate Coopers Ligaments in your breasts. This can cause sagging and permanent breast damage. This applies to small breasts too.
Breasts move in three dimensions during physical activity
– up and down
– side to side
– in and out
So finding a sports bra that limits motion in all directions will provide the most protection from sagging and pain.
The only time your breasts are not moving is when you’re standing or lying down. You should wear a sports bra when you’re doing any kind of activity including walking and yoga.
Reduce Pain and Discomfort during exercise
Research has shown that wearing a supportive and good fitting sports bra will increase your efficiency and enjoyment of your workout.
A good sports bra will reduce breast movement which means less pain and discomfort. Sports bras are also made from ‘sweat wicking’ fabrics which keeps you more comfortable while exercising and help prevent chafing problems that may develop during prolonged activity with a wet bra.
However it is important to remember that wearing a worn out sports bra can lead to breast pain and ligament damage as it will no longer have the same level of support. To help you stay comfortable and supported while you exercise, replace your sports bra every 6-8 months. A sports bra should never have a birthday!