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Is It Safe to Wear a Yoga Bra During a Run?

November 16, 2015 3 min read

So you like to run and you like to do yoga. Sometimes you wear your running clothes to your yoga class, and sometimes you wear your yoga clothes on your run. But ... is that OK? Let's just stick with the bra for this one. When it come to your yoga bra and your running bra, simply put, they are not created equal. That means, NO, you shouldn't wear your yoga bra on your run. Got it? To back this answer up, here are a variety of reasons why from breast health and sports bra mechanics experts.

The anatomy of breasts:

Joanna Scurr, Ph.D., is in charge of the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health, and she says that it's pertinent you wear a sports bra related to your activity of choice due to basic anatomy. She explains that there are no muscles in the breast, so the support is in our skin as well as the Cooper's ligaments, which are actually meant to protect our glandular tissue.

The damage:

Breasts bounce side to side and in and out as well as up and down, Laura O’Shea, a sports technology engineer and senior researcher at Progressive Sports Technologies at Loughborough University, says. “When exercising, the natural tendency of our breasts is to move independently of each other, up to about 8 inches from where they lay at rest,” says Kate Williams, Senior Director of Women’s Design at Under Armour. That's a lot of movement.” The short-term effects of not wearing a supportive enough bra while running can be breast pain as well as back and shoulder pain, and even general discomfort. And if you do this enough, the long-term effects include irreversible tearing of the breast tissue as well as stretching of the skin and Cooper’s ligaments, which can result in breast sagging.

The importance of size:

Having the right sports bra doesn't have anything to do with size, actually, because the breasts still move in the same motion while running. However, larger breasts are heavier, so the damage can be greater says Scurr. Research suggests smaller breasts have less natural support, giving even more importance to wearing a supportive bra. [bctt tweet="Is It Acceptable to Wear a Yoga Bra During a Run?"]

A perfect fit:

When it comes to finding the right bra, you'll want the right fit. “We work with manufacturers to develop the best products in the world, but if they’re not worn in the correct size they won’t work optimally,” explains Scurr. "What fits one person who is a 34D might not fit another person who is a 34D,” she continues. There are a variety of factors including the position of the breast as well the shape of the chest wall and shoulders. Scurr says to pay attention to these five key areas: 1. Underband: This is the foundation of any bra. Make sure it's level all the way around your body and that there is no more than five centimeters (or about two inches) give. 2. Shoulder strap:Leave room for no more than five centimeters to pull them up. 3. Cup: Nothing should be spilling out. 4. Underwire: Steer clear of it sitting on any breast tissue. 5. The center point: It should sit flat on your chest or it's the wrong size. Sarah Barber also provides key factors for ensuring you get the right sports bra. 1. Compression,  keeps the breast tissue from experiencing free movement, and/or encapsulation (they look like day-to-day bras and hold each breast separately), preventing movement. A combination of both is your best bet. 2. Upper chest coverage, prevents an upward motion, while a firm hem band hinders downward motion. 3. Side breast tissue coverage, prevents movement occurring sideways. 4. A firmer fabric that has minimal stretch also works to minimize movement. As for what to avoid, make sure you stay away from too stretchy a fabric as well as any sports bra that proves to be too revealing. Both make way for less protection and more movement. You can rest assured even more of the best options will be available, as brands including  Under Armour and Sweaty Betty work with universities to provide the best for your lifestyle. “Avoid compromising on any aspect of your bra. Fit, mobility, breathability, comfort and looking good…these are all important and achievable,” explains Williams. Do you feel like you wear a supportive sports bra? Source: Shape

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