Sports bras are quite popular as we know and lend great support and comfort to the breasts. However, sports bras, just like other garments and innerwear, need tending to, which enhances their life span. Read on to know the ways to extend the life of this all-important innerwear.
Physical activity makes breasts bounce up, down and even in a figure eight. Continuous and repetitive movements can result in soreness, pain and sagging. Sports bras are made to reduce this movement. Breasts have no muscle, yet without proper support, the skin and Cooper’s ligaments (ligaments near the breast, which give them their size and shape) can break down and cause sagging. Once your Cooper’s ligaments stretch out, they do not bounce back.
It doesn’t matter what size breasts you have, everyone experiences bouncing during physical activity. Therefore, every woman, no matter what size she is, should wear a sports bra while running or exercising.
True, exercising can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Yet, whether you’re a fitness fanatic or do more of a soft jog around your neighbourhood a few times a week, you probably need to wear a sports bra. And when you work out in a sports bra, you know it can get pretty gross after a sweat session. A bra, especially a sports bra that sees frequent use, should never reach its first birthday. This milestone can cause a lot of problems as you work out. Although most women don’t think much about their sports bra, wearing one that’s worn out can lead to breast pain, keeping you away from the gym. Take the time to take care of your bras and you could extend their life.
To help yourself stay comfortable and supported while you work out, replace your sports bra every 6-12 months. However, there are a few easy things you can do to help extend its life.
Take off your bra right after exercising
Ages ago, women didn’t sweat, they ‘glistened.’ Today’s women work out just as hard as the guys do and they’re not afraid to show how hard they’re working. If you like to run, use the elliptical, rowing machine or do another form of exercise that makes you sweat, take off your bra as soon as possible. Sure, you might want to grab a green juice with your friends after hot yoga, but you should take off the compression bra first. If you have the time before dashing off to your next obligation, rinse out your bra in the gym locker room. This will help remove some of the sweat and bacteria that can cause the fibres to break down.
If your work out routine includes activities like weight training or yoga that don’t cause you to sweat, you might be able to get more than one wear out of your sports bra before washing. If you’re not washing it, hang it up to make sure the bra is able to breathe in between wearings. Whatever you do, don’t leave it balled up in your gym bag.
Wash your sports bra
You might think differently, but it’s not bad to wash your sports bra more often. It will retain its elasticity when it’s clean, hence it will last longer. As you tend to sweat when exercising it is recommended to wash your sports bra after wearing it twice. We’re here to tell you exactly how to wash your sports bras.
If you really want to take care of your sports bras, hand washing them is the most gentle option. You can do this in the sink, tub, or shower. Just grab a bit of detergent, scrub a dub dub, rinse, and hang dry. However, if your bra sees a lot of activity and sweat, you should do a more thorough wash.
Machine wash on delicate
If you’re washing a sports bra in the washing machine, the delicate cycle is your friend. This goes for any bra, really. Do yourself and your bras a favour and get a lingerie bag so they don’t lose their shape when thrown into a sudsy abyss. If you don’t have a bra bag, close any clasps so your sports bra doesn’t get tangled up amongst your other clothes.
Sanitise your extra-sweaty bras
After a seriously sweaty workout or finding a sports bra stashed in an old gym bag, the sanitise cycle is your best friend. You can wash a sports bra alone on sanitise or toss it in with a bunch of towels that smell like mildew because you forgot about them. If your machine doesn’t have a sanitise cycle, you can mimic it by washing in extra hot water.
Lay flat or drape to air dry
Never, never, ever put your sports bras in the dryer…or any bra, for that matter. Doing so can stretch them out to no end and air drying them does not take long. Get yourself a drying rack or drape your bras over a surface to let them breathe and dry in peace. Do not hang them by their straps because they will stretch out and you’ll be left wondering why your sports bras don’t fit you anymore.
How often you need to wash depends upon your workouts, how much you sweat and your own tolerances. These little steps can go a long way towards keeping you (and your bras) in top condition.
If you’ve hit a yoga class or gone for a walk outdoors or on a treadmill, you may not need to wash your sports bra. These activities are low-impact and typically, don’t leave you sweat-soaked. If you could do the activity comfortably in an everyday bra, you may be able to let your sports bra go another day without any discomfort or significant wear.
If you’ve broken a sweat, your bra likely needs laundering. Regular workouts do leave bras damp with sweat, particularly along the band and wires, if you’re wearing an underwire. While washing your bra after every workout is ideal, you may find that it’s adequate to rinse it while you shower and wear it another day. A thorough rinsing will eliminate much of the sweat and reduce damage to the elastic and structure of your bra from dried perspiration, as the salt in sweat can reduce the longevity of a bra.
Whether you’re a runner, do hot yoga or engage in other heavy activity, your bra suffers. Heavy sweating does significant damage to your workout wear, including your sports bra. Rinse your bra immediately after your workout and launder as soon as possible. Sports bras should always be washed if they’re sweat soaked with special care paid to the bra band.
Know when it’s time to replace
Even the best cared for bra will need to be replaced eventually. An older bra will be stretched out, especially along the rib cage band and the shoulder straps. It’s time to replace your sports bra:
- If you’re noticing more movement as you’re exercising
- If you can’t read the care tag anymore
- If it suddenly seems too big
- If your workouts are working and you’ve lost more than 10-20 pounds
- If you’re pregnant (working out while pregnant is completely safe — just listen to your body)
- If it’s pilling or otherwise worn
These simple ways to care for your priced sports bra will ensure that it lasts you longer while maintaining the shape as well.