By Steph Blozy
BRRRING! Mother Nature’s alarm clock has finally gone off signaling an end to our winter hibernation. Like a welcome mat, the greening grass and glorious sun beckon us outside into the fresh air where a variety of workout opportunities await us. Whether you walk, hike, skip, run, chase, cycle, or practice yoga, don’t sabotage your workout by wearing the wrong gear because it’s no fun to chafe or be consistently fidgeting with your clothes so that everything stays in the right place.
This is especially true with your sports bra which is perhaps the most critical part of your outfit. Did you know that nearly 80% of women are wearing the wrong sports bra with 25% of those women not being able to workout at all due to breast pain? Even if you don’t have breast pain, you might be causing damage to your Coopers ligaments which can lead to breast droop and sag later in life.
But, just like finding the perfect bathing suit or pair of jeans, getting the right bra can be challenging. That’s why Fleet Feet Sports has opened a new Sports Bratique in our Women’s Annex just three doors down from our main store in West Hartford. With over 30 styles of sports bras from 15 different companies, the Bratique hosts the largest in-store collection of sports bras in the United States.
No more having to order multiple bras online – or settling to get the support you need by wearing multiple bras at one time. Now you can go to a single location to try on bras in a variety of styles and colors (just say “no!” to white!). At the Sports Bratique, you will find bras that lift, separate, support and wick moisture so that you can do the activities you love comfortably!
For maximum comfort, your top and bottoms should also be made with performance fabrics that move with you and keep your skin as dry as possible. Look for wool or polyester fabrics that are mixed with Spandex, especially when choosing your tights and capris. The higher the Spandex percentage, the more the fabric will hug your curves to give you great shape, and move with you to feel almost like butter.
You’ll want to look for at least 10% Spandex, although Nike’s new line of Lux tights feature 22+% and funky patterns that serve to slim. They even make capris with a built-in skirt for a super cute look that takes you from workout to errands without missing a beat.
For your top, layering is key. For the most flattering and comfortable fit, choose tops with feminine seams that follow your body’s curves. When going out on a chilly morning, I like to wear a light short-sleeve base layer with a half-zip outer layer. That way, when I start to heat up, I can add some “air-conditioning” by simply unzipping a little.
For breezy days, a light wind jacket, like the Brooks LSD jacket, is perfect – it’s not only pretty, it’s super light, packs into its own pocket and doesn’t rustle.
Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and sunscreen! Being sun-safe is smart and healthy, plus squinting takes extra energy and can lead to a headache post workout. Tifosi makes some great feminine sunglasses with smaller, more fashionable frames and fantastic colors like turquoise tortoise shell.
Fitness gear has come a long way since the women who designed the first sports bra sewed two jock straps together and had their customers order a smaller sized pair of men’s shorts rather than being fitted according to their size and needs. Today, we have a wonderful variety of clothes that can handle our toughest workouts AND make us look and feel beautiful…which can make all the difference when trying to motivate ourselves to get out the door and start moving.