August 5, 2011
Summer (in all it’s hot and sweaty glory!) is definitely here, and even if I didn’t have a thermometer to prove it, I would know it by the ‘gear shift’ I see in the gals who run down my street.
Instead of the many shirt/sports bra combos I see in the fall, winter and spring, many active women discard the shirt and reach for a sleek ‘long top’ sports bra style when the temperatures soar. Perhaps they’re thinking that wearing a single ‘integrated’ garment is going to be cooler than layering up two.
Now, I love my long tops with their built-in support for the ‘girls’, and definitely have many great ones in my drawer! But if you ran past my house in your long top on a sweltering summer day, I’d want to be dashing out after you to do a much-needed sports bra ‘intervention’, and here’s why…
Sweating is all about keeping you cool, and it’s most effective when it can evaporate easily from your skin’s surface. Evaporation is always accelerated when a breeze can flow across your bare, sweaty skin. So the more skin you can expose, the cooler you’ll feel. A close-fitting long top, on the other hand, is guaranteed to prevent that cool breeze from reaching the sweat on your chest and back, where you need the most sweat relief.
In a perfect world, ideal hot weather running gear would be shorts and the lightest, smallest sports bra you can get away with support-wise. Period. But if you’re anything like me and my 60-year-old torso, full disclosure of your midsection may be more personal information than you care to share!
So here’s the next-best, coolest, smartest summer strategy that’s good for every body: Start with your favorite high support, maxi-wicking sports bra, and then layer on a low-necked, loose-fitting thin singlet or tank top, untucked, over the top. Because your shirt doesn’t cling, it’s going to move and flap around a bit with every stride, actively assisting the hot moist air next to your skin to rise up and escape out the neckline of your singlet.
Or, of course, when it’s really sweltering you could also do what I do, which is to hop on a bike and enjoy a refreshing 20-mph breeze to help you stay cooler and drier!
However you do it, stay active, stay cool, and enjoy your summer!