My boobs used to stop me from working out.
Yes, truly. A 10E cup + a serious lack of knowledge in regards to proper sports bras = completely hopeless me. Strapping those puppies down for a bounce-free run was an Operation, and generally required two crop tops, at the very minimum.
You know what happens when you wear two very tight crop tops? YOU CAN’T BREATHE. Which makes for less-than-ideal exercise conditions.
So instead of going for a workout, I would stay at home. It minimised bounce issues and meant that I didn’t stress about my ligaments getting torn apart with every step down the pavement.
Of course, this story has a happy ending. I went to a bra shop and got fitted for a proper running bra (Berlei is gooood and worth the investment) and I forgot that boobs had anything to do about exercise.
And then last week, I read a study that said nearly one in five women are put off exercise by their breasts. ONE IN FIVE! That’s nearly 20% of the female population (good maths, I know). And here I thought for all this time that it was just me.
But no. It’s an issue for all the ladies, not simply the big-busted ones. Those of all cup sizes are avoiding their daily workout because they are bothered by their boobies.
The survey was conducted by the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health, and published online this week. They found the top four reasons for women avoiding exercise, and they were as follows:
1. Lack of energy
2. Time constraints
3. Health reasons
4. BreastsWe’re all VERY familiar with the first three reasons and they are very valid concerns that we’ve addressed before. However, breasts coming in fourth place surprised me, especially considering that it beat out many other reasons, such as the cost of exercise” and “feeling embarrassed”.
The women surveyed specified that they were unable to find a suitable sports bra, and that they also didn’t like the “excessive breast movement” that happens while exercising.
That makes sense. After all, boobs don’t just move up and down when we work out – they jiggle sideways and diagonally and in every which way possible. It can make for a seriously uncomfortable feeling, especially if you’re aware of the fact that this type of movement is damaging the Cooper’s liagment (you know, the one that holds up the boobs).
According to the Mirror, researcher Emma Burnett said:
“I expected the findings to show that breasts are a barrier but I was quite surprised at the percentage – it was higher than I thought… One third of women in the study were not meeting physical activity guidelines, but improving breast health awareness may help to encourage participation for these women.”
So let’s make this a post that will help our fellow comrades with their boob-related woes. Share your tips, your tricks and your sports-bra-related loves and hates. Tell us where to find them for a reasonable price (sometimes impossible, but sometimes you can hit the jackpot at places such as Trade Secret) and tell us where to find them in a size that will suit all women – from A cups to the HH’s and beyond.
To kick us off, I had a chat to Tish Monahan from She Science, which is a sports-bra-dedicated retail and online store that opened up in Melbourne recently. The store is full of bra fitters with an extensive knowledge of health science and biomechanics. They use motion analysis software to analyse breast motion – pretty fancy – and every day they hear about the problems that women commonly experience with sports bras.