Deep water running to reduce Exercise Induced Breast Discomfort

I fully understand the vicious cycle that many large breasted women find themselves trapped in when it comes to exercise. Those who suffer from Exercise Induced Breast Discomfort are unlikely to be active due to the pain experienced during activity which then leads to weight & breast volume gain, and as a result of this an increased amount of discomfort during activity.

The vicious Exercise Induced Breast Pain cycle

The vicious Exercise Induced Breast Pain cycle

The exercise opt out rate associated with this discomfort and general embarrassment is what originally drove me to open my Sports Bra store in Melbourne. It is a problem that effects more women then there are that are willing to admit it.

In 2007 prominent breast health researchers Deidre McGhee, Julia Steele and Bruce Power (whom I have referenced on many occasions in my blog posts) conducted a study to determine if Exercise Induced Breast Discomfort is reduced when running in water compared to running on a treadmill.

They hypothesised that during deep water running there would be a decreased breast displacement which would result in a reduction in breast pain.

They found that there was a significant reduction in self-reported breast pain and discomfort during water running when compared to treadmill running. But they concluded that this was in fact related to a reduction in peak mean vertical breast velocity, rather than the amount of total breast displacement. Meaning that the water had reduced the speed at which the breast moved more than it did the overall amount of movement. Either way, water running was found to totally eradicate breast pain and reduce breast discomfort to insignificant in the 16 women tested.

Breaking the Exercised Induced Breast Pain cycle with water running.

Breaking the Exercised Induced Breast Pain cycle with water running.

During this study the women did not wear a Bra or Sports Bra during the testing, and still noted the elimination of pain and discomfort. A swimming costume will provide some compression and hence a mild amount of breast support. You could also wear a crop top or a swimming specific bra (eg 2XU Tri Bra) under a swimming costume to give you that extra feeling of security in the water.

Water running is a great cardiovascular workout that also has muscle strengthening benefits. It has the potential to break the vicious cycle that many big busted women face, and in turn significantly improve these women’s active participation in life.

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