By Gill Stewart at
At this time of year, its easy to focus mainly on the thermal properties of clothing but these days, active wear technology has moved on and your under garments can play a big part in both comfort levels and performance.
Wearing an ordinary bra when exercising is really not recommended for a number of reasons. Apart from the obvious risk of chafing from underwires and straps, day wear bras also attract sweat, do not dry out quickly and definitely do not provide the correct support. OK, Nordic walking is not deemed vigorous activity but even when walking briskly, the movement of even quite small breasts can cause damage to the connective tissue that supports them (known as Cooper’s ligaments). This unfortunately will not be repairable and will therefore lead to sagging. As these ligaments are not actually muscles, no amount of training will restore them once damage has been done so prevention really is the answer!
Sports bras not only provide this vital support but also have much wider,comfy straps that do not dig into the shoulders (especially good if you are using a rucksack) and good ones will come with no clips or metal parts that may rub or cause irritation. Another important benefit is that they are generally breathable and easy to wash and dry so you can stick them in with your other kit after each walk.
Try to seek out good makes if possible, one of the best ranges available is Shock Absorber but most bra manufacturers do now also include a sports bra model. The X Bionic ENERGISER bra top pictured above is the ultimate in performance undies because it eliminates all the issues outlined above and is also so technical it can actually keep you cool as well as comfy!
Firstly, it stops ALL chafing both under the bust and in the shoulder area. Secondly, it wicks sweat away from the body via the little air pockets shown in the image. This stops you from feeling chilled or uncomfortably damp but in hot weather can reverse the action and use the sweat to cool you down. This simple function stops your body from wasting precious energy trying to regulate temperature and helps you to get on with exercising in comfort. Finally, it provides the all important support that is ESSENTIAL when doing any type of exercise due to a really flexible elastic chest band and special x shaped built in support. They are not the cheapest range in town but they wash really well and even come with a two year guarantee! When tested by our Girls, the general consensus was that it actually felt like they were walking braless!
X Bionic also make a range of briefs and boxers These also include the include the wicking and sweat utilisation properties described above. They literally do cool you down when hot and warm you up when chilled and the bonus is that the cooling is only activated when the body’s temperature rises and sweating begins! Added to that, they provide support where required and fit like a second skin. The three quarter length Ladies pants shown are designed for all activities from skiing to running and provide ultimate comfort when active or resting. X Bionic have won over 300 awards for their performance wear and if you are sceptical you can see the science here www.sportscience-laboritories.com .
So, take a minute to think about what you are wearing under your outdoor kit and even if you are not ready for highly scientific undies, make sure you think about support, moisture control and chafing because any of these can literally ruin a lovely Nordic walk!
The X Bionic range also includes performance outerwear, hats, and headbands – for more information click HERE