Many of us run…
Some do it for the pleasure of running, others do it to be fit, and yet others run to compete in races. Perhaps some even run for all of the above reasons.
While I’ve attended many sports events across the United States over the past year, I’ve realized that many athletes and hard core runners still wonder why they should wear compression clothing.
Before researching this topic and starting to develop my own line, I was also unaware of the many benefits of compression.
So, why compression? The short answer – it’s for better performance, faster recovery and injury prevention.
When do we benefit from wearing compression? I’d say while practicing sports, after intense workouts, during travels, or while one sleeps.
1 — During Activities
One of the chief benefits of wearing compression for active purposes is to minimize muscle soreness.Pounding, striking, jarring and similar such movements create vibration and cause muscles to shake. By supporting your muscles, compression wear is said to reduce muscle oscillation. As a result, it secures the muscles in place which helps to avoid micro tears in your muscles.
“Caliloko has helped me in more ways than one paragraph can tell. So much less acid, everything stays in place, sweat wicks away – and disappears! Thank you all for everything you do for us!,” said Staci Clark, Triathlete and I Race Like a Girl Team Member.
Massey University in Auckland discovered that wearing graduated compression helps reduce soreness 24 hours after a fast paced 10k road run—especially in the area where compression is applied. 93% of the runners who did not run with compression wear, experienced lower leg soreness after the run. In contrast, only 14% of the runners wearing compression had similar soreness.
Compression also squeezes blood vessels, which increases blood flow and delivers more oxygen into the compressed muscles. As a result, we feel energized and can obtain performance gains. The process of compressing muscle tissue generates faster blood flow and makes it easier for the blood to travel back to the heart. In essence, the heart works less hard for that specific motion, consequently, the body can optimize that efficiency to create a more powerful motion (think more speed if the motion is running) or use the power for more endurance (think running at the same speed but for a longer distance).
A research study published by the University of Newcastle concluded that body compression garments on the legs and calf muscles reduce the heart rate thanks to improvements in venous flow.
Anecdotally, many people tell us also that as they perform their physical activities, compression makes them more aware of their body posture, form and agility. The support provides the sensation that we are stronger and able to run faster or longer distances than usual.
“We met at the San Francisco Marathon Expo. I was skeptical of claims made by other compression calf sleeve brands. I purchased a pair of your Mount Diablo Active Compression Calf Sleeves for Men. Thought I would drop you a line to say congratulations! Love the sleeves!! My legs were fresh and tireless for the entire (marathon) run! I even added 10K of walking afterwards sightseeing,” said Steve Traplin.”
2 — Post Activities
Compression clothing also helps you to reduce the time it usually takes to recover. Wearing compression sleeves or tights after your fitness activities can speed up the recovery process. Instead of taking the usual 48 hours to remove the lactic acid build up and other metabolic wastes in your muscle tissues during intense exercise, it can take much less time.
In other words, wearing compression after exercise is known to create extra blood flow which contributes to the removal of metabolic waste and re-introduce the substances muscles require to rebuild.
Wearing compression as recovery can be done day and night with many of our Caliloko athletes sleeping in them, resulting in fresh legs the next day to go on to their next workout.
University of Exeter performed strength tests over a period of four days and found that wearing compression for 24 hours following exercise improved performance and the subjects perceived less soreness.
3 — During Travels
When you travel, whether by plane, train or car, you typically sit for long hours without the option to move and generate some blood flow. This can leave your limbs feeling sore. And, for those diagnosed with blood circulation issues such as deep vein thrombosis, it can lead to significant problems. Just as with the post activity recovery concept, wearing compression during your travels will leave you with a sensation of fresh legs, ready to explore, upon arrival to your destination.