Exercise With the Right Support

Woman in sports attire on the steps

Whether you are heading off to run a marathon, or are simply doing a five-minute workout in your back garden, wearing the right sports bra is so important. This will help to reduce the amount of movement that your breasts experience, protecting their support structures and preventing them from sagging.

Compression vs Encapsulation
When it comes to sports bras, there tend to be two main types; compression bras and encapsulation bras. Compression bras are shelf-style bras, and are great for those who have a smaller cup size, although those with a larger bust can also wear them if they are only doing a low or moderate intensity workout. On the other hand, encapsulation bras feature individual cups, just like a standard bra, but contain extra support, making them great for those with larger breasts.

Racerback sports bra

Wide Straps vs Racerback
Many sports bras feature wide shoulder straps, and these are great for distributing weight evenly across the body, which is especially important for those who have larger breasts. Another advantage to wide shoulder straps is that they can usually be easily adjusted, and feature the extra padding needed for vigorous exercise. Alternatively, racerback bras cinch in at the back, which keep the bra held closer to the body, resulting in extra support.

Back Clasps vs Pullover Styles
Pullover style sports bras are convenient, and provide more coverage for the back. However, bras that have a back clasp enable you to adjust how tight the band is, and this is extremely important for those with larger busts, as 70% of your support will come from the band.

Woman exercising in sports bra

Choosing a Size
Sizing is so important when it comes to bras, as wearing the wrong size will not provide you with the support that you need, and can actually do more harm than good. If sports bras are new to you, begin by trying on a bra that is the same size as what you usually wear, but keep in mind that you may need to try on different sizes to find the perfect one. Make sure that the back band is at the same level all the way around your body, while the actual bra should fit snugly, but not be too tight and restricting. You should be able to place one finger underneath the band, or in the cup itself, but no more than this, and the material should definitely not pucker.

Replacing Your Sports Bra
In the same way that your sports shoes will need replacing after it has done a certain amount of work, you will also need to invest in new sports bras. Generally, your sports bra should be replaced after around 30-40 washes, as this will then begin to interfere with the level of support that it provides.

When exercising, it is so important to provide your breasts with the support that they need. When choosing a new sports bra, make sure that you always try them on, and be prepared to try on quite a few different styles before you end up finding the one that is perfect for you.

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Lifestyle Changes for the “Skinny Fat”

Woman in mirror

The skinny-fat phenomena is one that affects up to a quarter of average-weighted people, and describes those who look fit and healthy from the outside, but actually have a number of health problems brewing beneath the surface. If you feel as though you may fall into this category, these are the lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to bring your health back up to scratch.

Healthy Oils
Many people who are skinny-fat try to stay away from oily foods, believing them to be unhealthy. While there is no denying that a greasy bag of fries will bring absolutely no benefits to your body, there are certain oils and fats that are necessary for good health. The most important of these are omega-3 fats, which can be found in highest concentrations in oily fish, such as salmons and sardines. Incorporating more of these into your diet will help to stabilize your cholesterol while reducing blood pressure.

Build Some Muscle
Building muscle mass is vital if you are skinny fat, and the best way to do this is through weight training. This encourages your body to store its lean muscle, rather than use it as fuel, and will help to add some more tone to your body. In order to support your increasing muscle mass, be sure to consume plenty of protein, whether in the form of eggs, meat, or seeds, as this will protect your newly acquired muscles.

Woman doing pushup

Support Your Natural Metabolism
While you may think that you have a naturally fast metabolism, there are many lifestyle habits that actually alter this, and it is likely that your true metabolism has been hidden for a while. Soft drinks, which contain artificial sweeteners, can interfere with the chemicals within your body, affecting your metabolism, as can sleep deprivation, which also increases sugar and carbohydrate cravings. In addition to watching your diet and ensuring you are getting sufficient sleep, you should also be incorporating regular cardio sessions into your routine, as this will boost your natural metabolism while helping with your fitness levels.

Keep Stress Levels to a Minimum
Stress is actually one of the main factors behind the skinny-fat phenomena, and while stress can often be unavoidable, there are still many ways in which you can take control over this and bring your stress levels back down. Different methods work for different people, so you will need to try out a few and see what helps when you are really stressed. Whether it may be ten minutes of meditation, taking some time to work out, or spending a couple of hours on a hobby that you are truly passionate about, keeping stress levels to a minimum will help your body to thrive.

Research has shown that being skinny-fat puts the body under incredible amounts of stress, and can actually be even worse for you than obesity. If you think that you are skinny-fat, then now is the time to implement these lifestyle changes, so that you can soon get back to your healthiest self.