The highs and lows of running: Protecting your breasts and skin while getting fit

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

Jun 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

skincare-for-athletesIf you are a runner, you are probably familiar with the many benefits of running. You may experience “runner’s high,” weight loss, preservation of bone density, and more. However, think about other runners that you know. Every runner knows that one woman who never wears sunscreen and has skin that appears loose and leathery, or knows a female runner in their circle who wears poorly-fitting bras -- resulting in sagging or stretching of the breast tissue. As a runner, the two best things you can do for yourself are to protect your skin and wear a supportive, properly-fitting fitness bra.

Runner’s face

For as wonderful as running is, it can wreak havoc on the face, and result in a condition commonly known as “runner’s face.” Without proper protection, the skin of the face is prone to wrinkling, skin spots, and loss of moisture and elasticity. Running may also increase cell damage due to the strenuous nature of the activity -- resulting in loss of elasticity.

Protecting your face and skin during and after your run

Before heading out for your run, be sure to apply sunscreen that has an SPF factor of at least 30. Focus on applying your sunscreen evenly across your entire face. Don’t skimp, and make sure you also apply an even coating to your ears, neck, and chest, as well as your arms and legs. Many joggers often forget to apply sunscreen to their chests, which is unfortunate since the skin across the chest is thinner than on other areas of the body. As a result, the chest can tend to show signs of aging earlier than other areas. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen periodically if your run is particularly long or if you have sweated profusely.

If the damage has already been done, it isn’t too late to start using sunscreen. However, if you see visible signs of aging or skin damage, chemical peels or Botox® injections can help reverse some of the damage.

The bounce factor

Running is a high-impact activity that can place significant strain on the body, including the breasts. Without proper support, the ligaments of the breasts can stretch over time -- leading to sagging. Additionally, lack of support may simply be uncomfortable as the breasts bounce and move with each stride -- causing strain on the ligaments as well as on the muscles underlying the breasts. A high-quality, properly-fitting sports bra can go a long way toward preventing these problems.

Breast support and comfort during your run

A properly-fitting sports bra should fit snugly without pinching or squeezing the breasts. While sports bras come in a variety of styles and sizes, it is best to avoid those that come simply in small, medium, or large sizes. Instead, look for those that are sized like regular bras with a cup size and band number. Begin by trying on bras in your regular size, although many women find that they also need to try on sports bras in a size larger and a size smaller, as sports bra sizes often do not correlate directly with regular bra sizes. Additionally, look for bras that offer features such as encapsulation, wide straps, and a back clasp rather than a pull-over style. These features are particularly important after breast augmentation.

Encapsulation: A sports bra with cups rather than only elastic compression offer the best support for the breasts, especially after augmentation. Encapsulation bras offer support without squeezing the breasts. The result is increased comfort.

Wide straps: While a racerback sports bra may feel supportive and comfortable, wider straps that fit evenly over the shoulders are a better choice. Wide straps offer even weight distribution -- increasing comfort and providing improved support. The ideal sports bra straps will also have padding and are adjustable.

Back clasp: Sports bras with a back clasp aren’t as common as pull-over styles; however, a back clasp allows you to adjust the bra to your particular needs for both support and comfort. The vast majority of a bra’s support comes from the back, not from the straps or the cups. A back clasp, combined with wide straps and encapsulation, offers the highest level of support and comfort.

If you have already suffered from sagging breasts due to your running habits, aging, pregnancy, or other factors, you might find a breast lift or augmentation beneficial. To learn more about your skincare and breast options, call Monarch Plastic Surgery today at (913) 663-3838 or (816) 436-3262 to schedule a consultation.

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