Although jogging is a highly effective form of cardiovascular exercise, it can have a negative impact on your breasts. In addition to causing pain and tension, it can actually lead to permanent sagging of the tissues that compose your breasts. Therefore, it is crucial that you follow preventative measures while jogging in order to maintain the health and appearance of your breasts.
The breasts contain mainly muscle-free fatty tissue and are, therefore, susceptible to sagging. They rely on the muscles of the back, shoulders and chest for support, as well as Cooper’s ligaments — fibrous tissues connecting the breasts to the chest wall. Activities that entail excessive bouncing, specifically jogging, place extra strain on these muscles and ligaments.
The combination of continuous jogging and gravity causes the breasts to sway up and down and from side to side, according to the Sports Injury Clinic. This not only leads to pain caused by excessive motion, but it also results in stretching of the Cooper’s ligaments, which eventually results in drooping of the breasts.
While jogging, the muscles of your upper body have to compensate for the additional weight-bearing force generated by the swaying motion of the breasts. This might lead to strain and tension in the back and neck, muscle weakness and lengthening. The larger the bust, the greater the swaying motion and risk of muscle strain.
Although more common in men, jogger's nipple also occurs in women with smaller breasts. It is due to the constant friction caused by a T-shirt rubbing against the nipple area, and it can lead to a painful sensation similar to that of a friction burn. The nipples are particularly vulnerable to this condition in cold and wet weather.
In order to prevent sagging, muscle tension, and jogger’s nipple, wear a structured athletic bra while jogging. Made sure it fits correctly to eliminate swaying as much as possible. Apply petroleum jelly to your nipples, or cover them with zinc oxide tape when preparing for a jog, as both offer an equally effective form of protection against runner’s nipple.
In addition to wearing the correct bra during exercise, it is also beneficial to perform exercises that strengthen the supportive muscles of the breasts, namely the back, shoulders and chest, says Shirley Archer in “Busting Out.” Exercises that work out these muscles include the lying dumbbell press, dumbbell lying row and the modified pushup. These exercises help improve the appearance and perkiness of the breasts and keep them from sagging.