I had no idea how amazing boobs were. I was aware of their magical power of course, but it took calming another ranting, inconsolable human being with them for me to truly understand. And then I had a kid.
October is not only National Walking Month, but also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which I petition to rename National Breast Health Month, because breasts do not need more cancer awareness, they need more health.
I am also glad that National Breast Month is not National Running Month, because that would be uncomfortable. How uncomfortable? One biomechanics researcher took a look:
The Study: Breast displacement in three dimensions during the walking and running gait cycles.
Methods: Fifteen D-cup runners, reflectors attached to their nipples (doesn’t it pull the hair out when you take them off? What? Doesn’t it?) walk and run on a treadmill while their breasts are filmed. (It's for science, honey, for SCIENCE!)
Findings: During walking, breasts move evenly in all directions. This is just one of the reasons I love walking. During running, however, “More than 50 percent of the total movement was in the up-down direction, 22 percent side-to-side and 27 percent in-and-out.”
Wait. What’s "in-and-out?" You mean like a punching balloon? Nice.
Why the difference in walking vs. running? Because walking is entirely different than running (read more on that here). Your body travels much more up-and-down, even if that up and down comes from your knees bending to absorb the shock and not your feet leaving the ground much.
Boobs. Your new gait training tool.
Your boobs are essentially a biofeedback device, visually demonstrating the inefficient movements of your whole body. Body swaying right and left? So will the girls. Breasts moving in and out? Your body is not flowing forward smoothly and has points of start-stop creating a stall in every step. Forget the hips. The boobs don’t lie.
Another interesting tid-bit:
Researchers found that the poorer the breast support, the greater the whole-body kinetics of the runner were affected. Using D-cuppers again (the more boob mass you have, the more it affects your whole-body performance), this study found an increase in medial loading of the pelvis and knees as a result of the breast's momentum.
If you’re taking the ladies out for a run, invest in some nice support. Especially if you’re a breast feeding mom also working on getting your pelvis back together. That excessive medial loading is killer on the pubic symphysis. Even though I'm a walker, every girl needs to run across the street now and then. This D+ cupper would die without Athleta -- for bras and for everything else. Dear Athleta, I love you. You complete me.
I had trouble finding a picture for this post, but think that this one is perfect.
Ergonomics. 2009 Apr;52(4):492-8. The effect of breast support on kinetics during overground running performance. White JL, Scurr JC, Smith NA.
J Appl Biomech. 2011 Feb;27(1):47-53.A comparison of three-dimensional breast displacement and breast comfort during overground and treadmill running.White J, Scurr J, Hedger W.
J Appl Biomech. 2009 Nov;25(4):322-9. Breast displacement in three dimensions during the walking and running gait cycles. Scurr J, White J, Hedger W.