Exercise and a healthy diet are one of the most effective ways to lessen your risk of developing breast cancer. Research shows women who completed 10 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity had a 30 percent lower chance of developing breast cancer than inactive women. And though women can exercise to help decrease their own risk of breast cancer, men and women can help raise money for others already affected. Several lifestyle and fitness companies have pledged to make a difference by releasing special-edition pink products where a portion of the sale of these items goes to support breast cancer charities and programs designed to put an end to this devastating disease.
1. Gaiam Pink Ribbon Yoga Mat ($22)
One dollar from the sale of every Pink Ribbon Yoga Mat will be donated to fund breast cancer research. This adorably pink and delicately designed yoga mat is the perfect way to add a pop of color to your yoga practice and make a powerful statement at the same time. The mat is lightweight and durable with a non-slip grip surface to keep you grounded. It saves lives, and it's cute to boot. What's not to love?
2. BodyRock's Empower 'Em Bra (Starting at $95)
BodyRock Sport believes in empowering all women to keep active and healthy by providing them with active wear that not only fits their needs, but makes them feel beautiful at the same time. BodyRock Empower 'Em collection includes the first post-mastectomy sports bra in hopes of encouraging post-Mastectomy and post-cancer surgery patients to get back to their workouts faster by addressing their unique needs. Each bra features soft elastic for comfort, a front zipper, molded cups, and slits for silicone inserts in lots of great floral, leopard, and camouflage designs. Included on every bra is a small metal plate that reads "I Am Empowered" to remind women just how strong she is and can continue to be. For each mastectomy bra purchased, BodyRock Sport donates a mastectomy bra to the American Cancer Society for a woman in need to remind her she is beautiful and powerful.
3. Handful Save the Ta-Ta's Bra ($45)
Handful is known for creating a sports bra that flatters your chest without flattening it, but Handful also does a lot to help protect what their bras hold so dear. Purchase the original Handful Bra you love with a signature "Save the Ta-Ta's" logo across the back and you can help them in their efforts. A portion of sales of each Save the Ta-Ta's bra is donated to the fight against breast cancer. Wear it alone and spread awareness. Wear it under clothes and remind yourself to do a self-exam. Wear it anytime: this sports bra flatters your physique so well you won't want to reserve it just for the gym.
4. Handful FU Cancer Tee ($25)
Tell cancer how you really feel with the FU Cancer shirt. While Handful's Ta-Ta bra sales support cancer research on a national scale, sales of the FU Cancer shirt work to make a positive impact on survivors in Handful's own community. A portion of every sale goes to the Young Survivors Portland support group, an organization very near and dear to Handful. "[Young Survivors Portland] is how I made it through my own battle with stage III cancer," says Cary Goldberg, a breast cancer survivor and part of the Handful team, who found a tumor while breastfeeding that had already spread under her arm to 9 of her lymph nodes. Raising money for those affected by breast cancer is an issue very close to Handful's heart, and through the purchase of an FU Cancer t-shirt, you can show your support across yours.
5. Ford Strength of the Warrior Yoga Pants ($36)
Not only are these pants comfy, cozy and cute, but for every pair purchased, Ford is giving 100 percent of the proceeds toward raising breast cancer awareness. Ford hopes to top last year's record $1.5 million donation to the cause, so let's help them get there. Try not to get noticed in these bright and flattering yoga pants, but why would you when the goal is to raise awareness?
6. Wilson Hope Tennis Balls ($18)
This time "love" is a good thing on the tennis court. For every can of pale pink Wilson Tennis Hope balls purchased, Wilson will donate 1 percent of the sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Pair it with the Wilson Hope Tennis Racket ($35) and backhand cancer right in the face.
7. BFFLBag ($55)
The BFFLBag is a great lightweight, stain resistant, and waterproof bag perfect for the gym or traveling, but there's something else that makes these bags so special. Not only is twenty percent of the net profit of BFFLBags sold put towards supporting breast cancer charities, but the company also sells pre-packed duffel bags for women battling cancer to make their hospital stays a little more comfortable. Packed full of pillows, toiletries, and other personal care items, BFFLBag's can both lift spirits and save lives.
Kelly Turner is a Seattle-based ACE-certified personal trainer and professional fitness writer. She began writing after becoming frustrated with the confusing and conflicting fitness information in the media and the quick-fix, gimmick-centered focus of the fitness industry itself. Her no-nonsense, practical advice has been featured on DietsInReview.com, FitnessMagazine.com, Yahoo! Shine, and she has a regular fitness column in The Seattle Times. Kelly has her own blog at www.kellyturnerfitness.com or follow her on Twitter @KellyTurnerFit.