We all know that working out several times a week is good for us. It helps build our muscles, improve our cardio, and allow us to look and feel our best. Many women have trouble working out though because they don’t have the right sports bra to support them while they move. Aside from being annoying, exercising while wearing the wrong bra can actually be harmful to the breast tissue and can cause back problems and damage over time. Here are some of the top tips to help you choose the perfect bra and feel comfortable while working out.

Get a Correct Sizing

It’s estimated that about 80% of women are wearing a bra that is either too small or too large. Although sports bras usually come in small, medium, or large sizes, some actually have a cup size. Go into a lingerie store and ask a salesperson to measure you for a bra. They will be happy to, and you will know your true size when you’re done. If you don’t have enough time to go somewhere, try online. Sports Bras Direct Online Sports Bras offers instructions on their website on how to measure for a bra. Once you know your cup and band measurements, you can look for a sports bra that offers the most support for your breast size. Women with a larger chest generally need sports bras with thicker bands and straps in order to get the best support while working out. Sometimes sports bras have underwires in them to offer additional lift.

Know Your Type of Exercise

If you plan on doing light exercise, like walking or yoga, you’ll only need a low-impact sports bra. But if you are a runner or a gymnast- really any type of athlete that does a lot of running and jumping, a high impact sports bra is your best option. These bras are made to be tighter-fitting and thicker, so you won’t feel a strain while you’re working out. Of course, you can always wear a higher-impact bra for low intensity sports, but don’t try to go the other way around, because you’ll end up with insufficient support.

Use Your Old Ones

Don’t keep your old ones for more than two years, but use them as a sort of blueprint for your next purchase. Choose what you liked about the old ones. Maybe it was too small or too big, or maybe you liked the type of straps or the fabric. Maybe you really just enjoyed the color. Compile a list of things that you want and don’t want in a new bra, kind of a pros and cons, and shop around for the qualities you like the most. You probably won’t be able to find a million perfectly matched bra options, but you will at least have a good baseline to start looking.

Shop Around

Be willing to look at several stores and websites for the best bras and prices. Try on every one that you like, even if you aren’t sure they’re all right for you. Jump around in them, do a few high knees, and just look at yourself in the mirror to see if you like how it looks. By testing out the bra before you buy it, you will be able to see if it offers enough support or if there are any uncomfortable tags anywhere. It may take time, but your back and chest will thank you when you can work out without pain.

Be Aware of Your Body

As you work out, your body will most likely change. You may lose weight, which could cause your breast size to decrease. You could also gain muscle mass, which might make your bra too tight around the ribs or shoulders. Whatever the case, make sure you monitor how your body is changing. If something doesn’t feel quite right when you exercise, it might be time for a new bra. You are the only one who can truly tell what’s changing over time, so don’t ignore it. If you feel uncomfortable because of a sports bra to the point where you don’t want to work out, shop around and find something that suits your body’s specific needs.