Benefits of Compression Gear
Compression gear is great: it looks funky, it keeps you warm, and it can have some interesting implications for health and recovery. Compression gear has a bunch of uses, and today we’re going to briefly outline and discuss why you should be using compression gear to boost muscular recovery, and perform at your best.
One of the best-known benefits of compression gear is improved circulation. The compression of the limbs is a great way to make sure you have a consistent, healthy circulation of blood into these far-away parts of the body, where poor blood-flow is common and can cause health issues.
Compression socks are probably the most well-known application of this, and have been used for years to improve the flow of blood to the lower leg during flights. Less well-known are the benefits that they have for athletes who are looking to improve recovery and make the most of their training.
Improved circulation, especially to the limbs, is a great way to boost recovery. More, consistent bloodflow to muscles is a great way to improve the removal of waste products and delivery of nutrients to the tired, sore, achey muscles that need it. If you’ve experienced a really tough workout and want to give your body every tool for maximum recovery and progress, compression gear is a great choice.
Swelling, Inflammation, and Minor Injury
The RICE protocol is one of the most important and well-known aspects of treating injuries in sports and exercise. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Compression is important for injury-healing because it improves circulation to an area without fostering inflammation.
Compression is a great way to deal with the swelling, inflammation, and discomfort that you might experience after a minor injury. We’re not suggesting that you use compression socks on a broken foot, but a sprained ankle or bruised foot can both benefit from mild compression.
Compression socks and compression leggings, for example, can be used to improve the circulation to inflamed or swollen tissues, whilst also improving the venous return and interstitial drainage. This is basically to say that compression gear can improve the delivery of nutrients to injuries, whilst also reducing the swelling by pushing blood back to the heart, improving the recovery process.
Recovery: Specifics for the Performance Enthusiast
If you’re looking at compression gear specifically for performance and recovery, there are some key factors that you might want to consider. First, the feeling you achieve by sleeping in compression gear – especially after a tough workout – is amazing. Athletes report huge benefits in the “feeling” of preparedness after using these garmnets.
Second, compression gear has a fantastic tendency to keep the joints healthy. Many athletes in demanding sports wear heavy compression gear (such as knee sleeves in Olympic weightlifting, which protects the joint and keeps it warm). Compression gear has a similar, smaller effect that can keep your joints limber and healthy during the day.
Finally, compression clothing can be a great choice during training. Improving the warmth and compression around joints during exercise is a great way to prevent injury, and provides the best effects during outdoor training during cold months. This is not the most scientific approach, but consider whether you’d rather be performing sprints at 6am in shorts, or a pair of compression leggings that keep you warm and provide gentle support to your knees!