Compression gear has become a hot topic lately. The word is out that there is an all-natural alternative to healing and supporting your circulatory health. All you have to do is slip on your compression socks, sleeves, shorts or what-have-you, et voila! You are on your way to improving your blood circulation, as well as speeding up post-workout recovery.
Who is Compression-Wear For?
No matter what your motivation is behind wanting to improve your circulation, compression gear will do the trick every time. Whether you are an athlete, pregnant woman, or you are going to be traveling for an extended length of time, compression socks can help to prevent blood clots and minimize swelling. They will support proper alignment of the joints and more importantly, compression-wear will help improve our circulation.
For those of us that suffer from poor circulation and related complications such as varicose veins, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), skin ulcers and the like; we will greatly benefit from wearing compression gear. The compression gear keeps a constant tight grip around the part of your body you’re wearing it, thus keeping the blood flow constant and even in these areas.
As we age, our circulation tends to decline, and by donning compression socks we can help to counteract this natural degradation of our blood flow. WebMD actually recommends the use of compression socks in order to help relieve symptoms caused by varicose veins, skin ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
Types of Compression Gear
There are several types of compression wear. There are compression shorts and tops, and even compression floss. The floss is akin to an Ace bandage that you can wrap around hard to reach areas such as your shoulders. The most common type of compression garments you will see on the market today are compression socks and sleeves.
Compression sleeves also generally fit on your leg area, however, they are open-ended and often rest halfway down your foot or above your ankle. Compression socks are what they sound like, they wrap around your toes just like normal socks. For a closer look at the intricacies of compression socks and sleeves check out this informative site here.
How Compression-Wear works
The compression gear fits snugly around your body and keeps a constant pressure on your muscles. If you have swelling and edema, the compression-wear will help to actually squeeze the excess fluid from your legs (or other parts of your body). This fluid will be reabsorbed into your bloodstream and then released when you use the bathroom. Many doctors recommend and prescribe compression socks and sleeves to patients who have swelling.
If you are an athlete, then you will benefit from wearing compression gear as well. The compression around your muscles will keep them nice and warm. Us athletes know that warm muscles equal harder working, more flexible muscles that are less prone to injury and tearing.
One of my favorite things about compression wear as an athlete is the feeling after an intense workout. When you take off the compression clothing, the built up lactic acids are cleared away as the new oxygenated blood flows over the muscles. Lactic acid is the main culprit of post-exercise muscle soreness, therefore less lactic acid leads to less muscle soreness.
The added warmth that compression wear causes benefits everyone. Have you ever felt like your toes and feet are cold all the time? Then you will really enjoy having cozy and warm toes again, once you start wearing compression socks. They won’t keep you warm the same way that wool socks would though. The compression on your muscles causes a tighter area for your blood to flow through, thereby improving your circulation and warming up your appendages.
How Often Do I Need To Wear Compression Garments?
The length of time you wear your compression apparel depends on your specific need for it. If you are using it to help you manage health issues you already have, then you will probably wear compression clothing most of the time when you are awake. You may want to check with your healthcare provider just to be sure.
If you are wearing the compression clothing to improve circulation in your body, you should wear them for four – six hours per day, usually in the evening is best. If you are wearing them in order to prevent blood clots on long trips, then you can just wear them during the time you spend actually traveling sitting in the car or flying on the airplane. When in doubt, just ask your doctor.
So, what do you think? Have you ever heard of compression clothing before? If you have tried it, leave a comment below and tell us your experience with it.
Bio: Sarah is an advocate of compression gear, the ideal medical and pre, mid, and post-workout athletic wear. She shared her knowledge on the subject on Compression Info.