Choosing the right sports bra

Correct sports bras for your body type help prevent pain, future sagging

Published On: Dec 16 2013 03:09:46 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 16 2013 10:10:00 PM EST
MIAMI, Fla. -

Doctors recommend we do some sort of vigorous workout for at least 30 minutes, three to four times a week, to stay healthy. They also warn that having the right fitness gear is also important for our safety.

Most people who work out carefully choose their shoes. But for women, just as much thought should go into picking the right sports bra. Wearing the wrong one can actually do damage.

"If you don't have the appropriate fit, you're going to have more pain in the breast after you work out," said Dr. Mindy Williams of Memorial Health.

All that bouncing around can be pretty uncomfortable for some women. Researchers say breasts can move as much as 8 inches up and down or side to side during a vigorous workout.

One study showed that about 17 percent of the women who experienced some sort of breast pain ended up cutting back the intensity or duration of their workouts or skipping them altogether.

For years, personal trainer Debra Austin could never find the right bra to give her the support she needed.

"I always made sure my tops, my camis, my racer backs, always had a bralet," Austin said. "And underneath, I would double up with another sports bra so that I had the support."

She now recommends that women get a professional fitting to find the best sports bra for their body type.

For smaller "A" cup sizes, a stretchy strap bra is good. For "B" or "C" cup sizes, a bra with a vertical or lateral breast motion control is recommended. And for large-breasted women, underwire that lifts and shapes, along with a padded back to cushion your spine.

"Some movement is always going to happen," Williams said. "It's impossible not to, but again, if you can limit that movement, you going are to have less breast pain and you are going to have less sagging or tosis of the breast in the future."

It's important that women get the proper fit. Not too tight in the cup, which might cause the breast to overflow. And the band shouldn't be too loose, because it won't provide support.