Chicago Marathon Week: Ladies protect your girls

Finding the right sports bra is an important tool for any woman participating in physical activity.  With the Chicago Marathon coming up I thought it was a good time to discuss the importance of finding a good sports bra.  Many women overlook this important attire necessary for an active lifestyle.  With those of you ladies running 26. miles this weekend I think this is especially important for you right now.  I've seen ladies running and jumping around and sometimes it just looks downright painful.  The fact is you have one body, and it is yours to take care of.  And let's be honest, men talk about'em and women talk about'em: boobs.  92% of women agree that breasts play a large part in shaping a woman's self-image.  And if you're going to be spending all that time working out to get the body you want, protect your 'girls' so they stay in great shape too.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Susan Nethero, aka the Bra Whisperer, who has founded the Intimacy Lingerie Store.  Susan has spent years mastering the importance of the correct bra fitting and the correct bra.  She has been on Oprah, NBC 5 today and over a dozen magazine publications to name a few.  I went in to meet with Susan and was astounded by what I learned from her.  That was what I enjoyed most about my experience with her.  Susan takes pride in her work and making women feel confident about themselves.  Her company has even performed the most extensive bra research study with 60,000 women.  The main thing I remember Susan telling me was that my current bra was too big around my rib cage.  The band around the rib cage is where a great deal of the support should come from in a bra.  That your straps should not be digging into your shoulders to hold up weight (who wants those shoulder marks anyways).

I asked Susan about sports bras since my job revolves around being in gym clothes.  Know this ladies, jumping up and down combined with the effects of gravity over time will cause breasts to sag.  Going even further, you can cause damage to the tissue in your breasts.  Good news is a study from the University of Portsmouth England discovered that a proper sports bra can reduce sagging by up to 78%.  Susan asked told me something very important to remember when looking for a sports bra, do not get a sports bra that doesn't support each breast separately.  No more uniboobs ladies.  Susan lists this as the 9th mistake when make when finding a bra:"Athletic women often rely on sports bras which compress rather than support.  A sports bra with seams, shape and cup depth will prevent jiggling while jogging".  The concept is this: if you think about the way you run, with one arm in front one arm behind there is a slight twist in your body.  If both breasts are stuck together one is going to be pulled.  Therefore, each breast needs to be supported individually as well.  I thought this was very interesting.

If you get the chance to head into one of the stores for a new sports bra (or bra) I highly recommend it.  I was so impressed with the knowledge, confidence and customer service by all the staff.  Susan even gave me a sports bra to add to the other bras I picked out to start my collection.  I'm picking it up today (why today? Because they tailored the band around my rib cage so that it fit my properly.  Now that's what I call customer service).  I truly believe you will walk out of her store feeling comfortable and happy with your purchase.

Nike also just developed a new a few new sports bras as well called the Nike Victory bra series.  The one that looks most appealing is the Nike Victory Adjust X Back Sports Bra.  It has adjustable straps, moisture wicking material and is designed for high impact support.  I can't wait to head over and get this one.

So take the time this week to make sure your "girls" are supported and protected before you run the Chicago Marathon this weekend.

Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.

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