April 30, 2011
I live just a block from a great city sports field that gets a ton of use by ‘kids’ of all ages playing everything from kickball to lacrosse! It reminds me of all the pleasure and terrific exercise I’ve gotten over the years anytime I hit the field to play my favorite team sports.
Team sports are just plain fun! When you and your buds are wrapped up in the game, you can push it hard together for a couple of hours and not even feel like it was a ‘workout’! And playing it outdoors delivers even more perks than grinding out the miles indoors on the treadmill. We’re talking greater mental health benefits (happiness and sanity!) as well as Vitamin D (stronger bones!) when we’re kicking it in the fresh air.
Because I spend a lot of my waking hours working with sports bras, seeing the players on my neighborhood field also reminded me of the specific demands that outdoor team sports like soccer, softball and lacrosse put on a bra. Here’s what you need to know:
Support: Any time there’s a field to cover, you end up running a lot. So great support should be at the top of your ‘must have’ list. The larger your cup size, the more you need a sports bra with high or maximum bounce control in order to play your best and most comfortable game.
Stretching/Bending/Arm Motions: More so than some solo sports like running which have just one motion pattern repeated over and over, team sports involve lots of complex moves and changes in body positions. Make sure straps are secure and can’t slip off your shoulders when you’re reaching and twisting (a racerback style is ideal). Check the bottom band to make sure it’s snug enough to stay down and not ‘ride up’ onto the girls when you throw your arms high in the air.
Start—Sweat—Stop [repeat!]: Playing on most teams means you kick it hard, slow down, maybe stand a bit, sprint till your lungs hurt, then take a break on the bench (and then do the whole drill again). All that sweat you generate during the most active times can soak your sports bra and leave you chilled when your team is up to bat or it’s time to sit out a substitution. Look for great moisture management fabrics that will move the sweat away from your skin and let it evaporate from your bra, leaving you drier and more comfortable.
Sun, Sleet, Wind & Rain: I rode my bike through an awesome spring hailstorm earlier this week, so I know how quickly a sunny day can turn to a drenching chill! It’s no different on the playing field—we have to be ready for anything Mother Nature happens to deliver. So whether you’re damp from hard-earned sweat in the sunshine or an unexpected spring shower, quick-drying wicking fabrics are your best ally when it comes to feeling comfy and playing your best game!
Regardless of your age (ha!), if you’re not already on a great sports team, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s one of the most fun ways I know of to make super new friends and get a kick-ass workout!