Monthly Archives: January 2013

Caring for your Sports Bra / 4 ways you can prolong it’s useful life

Sadly, like any technical piece of apparel all Sports Bra will eventually lose their ability to function at their best. But there are a few ways that we can prolong the useful life of our work out bra…

Choose when you wash your Sports Bra wisely. The technical fabrics used in quality Sports Bras will loose their functional ability with washing. While most of us will sweat up a storm when we exercise, their may be times after a gentle work out like a walk around the park with friends or post a yoga class, that washing the bra may be unwarranted. Choose these times to prolong the life of your bra by hanging it up in the bathroom or laundry instead of submitting it for washing. You could easily improve it’s lifespan by upward of 20% by being mindful of this.

Save your hook and eye clasp. The hook and eye clasp is often the first thing I see ‘go’ in Sports Bras. There are two simple ways to combat this. Firstly, always use a lingerie bag. A lingerie bag is a much better option when it comes to saving your clasps than the ball bra washers found in some retailers. Secondly, ensure that all clasps are fastened before placing the neatly folded bra in your lingerie bag. It is unlikely that the clasps will undue and cause havoc in a household washing machine. Folding your bra before placing it in the bag helps to ensure this.

Avoid using fabric softeners. Fabric softeners are a highly effective way to improve the feel of your laundered goods, but unfortunately when it comes to technical fabrics they are also particularly damaging. Such softeners line your garments with wax like chemicals that will damage the materials ability to both breathe and wick moisture from the skin.

Hang dry. As a general rule line drying all lingerie is the safest way to go. This avoids burning delicate materials found in technical fabric like silver and other antibacterial compounds. Tumble drying will promote a loss in shape, twisted straps, tangling with other clothing and damage to the shape of your underwire – all of which will decrease both the lifespan of your Sports Bra and it’s ability to provide optimal shape & support. When hanging your bra to dry always hang from between the cups, and not from one of the straps which will cause your Bra to quickly lose it’s shape.

You should expect to get 6 good months out of a Sports Bra that you are wearing for 3 workouts a week. With all of the above being simple to follow care instructions there should be no reason to end up with a lack luster Sports Bra before its reaches it’s intended expiry date.

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

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Sports Bra selection for breastfeeding Mums

With most nursing mothers in a frenzy to shed the weight post pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to see breastfeeding mothers battling it out on the pavement. Unfortunately it’s equally as common to see some obvious mistakes being made with their Sports Bra selection.

Here are a few tips for all the breast feeding mothers out there…

It is seriously unlikely that your bust size is what it was pre-pregnancy, so there is very little chance you can get away with wearing that Sports Bra you’ve had since you were in your final year of Uni. Get rid of it.

Your bust is also likely to change in size and shape a number of times over the next year or so, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about the potential need to invest in a number of different Sports Bra options over the next little while.

A good way to ensure you are not purchasing too often if to avoid Sports Bra’s with underwire. A soft cup bra eg the Moving Comfort Juno (image below), will give a firm level of support without pushing your delicate breast tissue in to cups lined with underwire. This will give you a bit more flexibility to wear the bra as your breast increases and decreases in volume.

When avoiding underwire, often women will be drawn towards the crop top style Sports Bra. This can be a dangerous move for nursing mothers already conscious of their changing shape. The crop top should be avoided if you are trying to stay away from the uni-boob look which is unflattering all round.

For this reason, a bra that offers support using the encapsulation method will have you feeling great about your shape, and offer the flexibility for your changing bust size as mentioned above. The encapsulation method of support separates the breasts from one another and holds them firmly in place.

Most well designed, high impact Sports Bras will have a high neckline that will also aid in modesty and leave you feeling secure and comfortable with your shape. Add this to your ‘must have’ list for extra confidence.

There are plenty of Sports Bras on the market with front fastening which is an obvious inclusion for any breastfeeding mum. This includes options that secure at the front using a zip or clasps, there are also plenty of options that fasten at the back but have adjustable velcro straps at the front (see Moving Comfort Juno below). Both will allow for easy unfastening to breastfeed.

Remembering that nursing Mums can unfortunately experience pain in their breasts for any number of reasons, I hope that by following the guidelines above you should leave yourself with the best chance of feeling comfortable and confident when returning to exercise post pregnancy. Good luck!

Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au

Click the image for more info or to purchase the Juno

Visit us at She Science to be fitted for your best Sports Bra:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/shescience

Our online store can be found at:

http://www.shescience.com.au/page/shop%20online.aspx

 

Moving Comfort / Juno
Image courtesy of movingcomfort.com.au

“That Berlei Bounce Commercial”

I love the interest that people are showing in the Berlei ad that is currently being played on Australian TV. I have had tons of family and friends reference it in recent conversations. Most of the conversation really questioning why they chose women with small breasts to play the roles of their swiss-ball-bouncing models, when obviously the issue they are addressing is more of a concern for women with large breasts.

I’ve thought a bit about why they may have done this, and am yet to decide whether I think it was a good way to go. I suppose their are two lines of thought for this.

They make reference to a 12B breast, which looks to be around about the size of their models. One reason they may have done this is that many women are under the illusion that it is only bigger busted women that require support. So for that reason I can understand why the quote “during exercise a 12B breast bounces up to 8 centimeters when unsupported” could serve to alarm all the smaller busted viewers out there. I can’t possibly argue with educating women of all shapes and sizes about the importance of breast support during activity.

Saying that, if we are to look at the numbers and consider the importance of speaking to your key demographic in such a costly campaign it does seem a little strange. 12B was the average bra size…. IN 2000! In 2010 the average recorded bra size was actually reported as 12D. Berlei would have the best sales stats on this.

As it is commonly known women with larger breasts experience more frequent and severe exercise induced breast pain. So if we were to think with our marketing hats on  shouldn’t this really be the audience they are choosing to target? Hmm.

At the end of all that I am personally still left pondering what percentage of their audience may draw relevance with the intended message of the otherwise very informative ad. But either way I am glad they are getting the message out there and applaud them on the great commercial that has got plenty of people talking!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEeY8FN5REQ]

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Neural Impingement caused by Sports Bra straps

When fitting any bra one of the more important things to get right is strap tension, that is how firmly the strap sits over the shoulder. This is particularly important with a Sports Bra fitting, and even more so for those blessed with a bigger chest.

As mentioned in my post ‘The Truth about underwire’, the straps are only a secondary means of support. 82% of support comes from the bra band that runs around the rib cage. Hence there is no functional advantage to having your bra straps sitting too tightly.

Shoulder indentations and subsequent neural impingement is a problem that bigger busted women commonly run in to caused by unrelenting tightly fitted straps. In most cases this long term ‘shoulder abuse’ is committed in an attempt to make up for the lack of support supplied by the bra band. Naturally, the worst perpetrator being the spaghetti strap bra. Old, worn out bras whose materials have lost the ability to give and sit snugly against the body are also common offenders.

When the trapezius muscle, which lies directly under the bra straps is compressed downwards, the nerves that run under it can become impinged. This can cause numbing, tingling, shooting and burning sensations around the shoulder and radiating down the arm to the hand. There are of course various severities of this pathology, and symptoms will range from persisting only when in ill fitted lingerie to constant discomfort even with the removal of the stressor (bra straps).

Functional Sports Bras are almost always made with wide soft straps that are designed to eliminate this problem by dispersing pressure more widely across the shoulder.

For those choosing to wear two bras, it is extremely important to avoid having the straps lie one over another. For this reason coupling a racer back together with U shaped straps (regular fit) often works best. Again, both of these options should have wide soft straps.

There are a number of practitioners who will be able to assist with nerve impingements. This includes your GP, Physiotherapist, Osteopath, Chiropractor & Remedial Massage Therapist. Treatment generally consists of a number of conservative therapies which may include bra prescription (often strapless is advised for a period), soft tissue therapy, stretch/strengthening programs, anti-inflammatories and possible steroid injections. As with any stress related musculoskeletal injury removing the pathology is one step of the process, but eliminating the causative stressor is just as important and not to be overlooked during treatment.

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Moisture-wicking materials in Sports Bras

When it comes to Sports Bras, there are three important qualities when looking specifically at the material construction. Those are that it is firm yet flexible, is breathable and last but most certainly not least, that it has moisture-wicking properties.
Moisture-wicking materials draw moisture from the skin to the surface of the fabric. This is a more effective way of evaporating sweat as it is easier for the moisture to vaporise from the outside of the fabric, than it is when it is caught between the skin and the bra.

I took the liberty of photographing a bra I recently trialled on a short distance (6km) run in moderate temperature conditions. In the first image you can see that the moisture is sitting on the outside surface of the bra, which is made up of a moisture-wicking material.

sweat 1
In the second image you will note that there is a significant amount of sweat also sitting on the inside of the bra, which is a cotton material. The real shame with this product is that they have gone to the effort of using moisture wicking materials for the external construction, but the cotton layer that sits against the skin prevents this from being able to do its best work. I left the bra for 30 minutes post work out, and there was no significant change in moisture distribution. The sweat was still sitting in the cotton lining.

sweat 2
It’s not uncommon to find cotton used in many quality Sports Bra options. You just need to be careful about where the cotton lies within the garment.

Our website is:

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Samples Galore!

Some samples from Moving Comfort, Enell & Anita Active

Samples Galore!

It still feels a lot like Christmas around my place having received dozens of samples from Moving Comfort, Enell and Anita Active over the past few days. I’ve got plenty of product testing to do over the coming weeks, so there’s no time to slack off over the holiday period.

I’m looking forward to posting some more product reviews soon!

Our website is:

www.shescience.com.au

And follow us on facebook:

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Our online store can be found at:

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