You may already be familiar with the benefits of compression socks for your circulation. These socks improve your overall circulatory health; if you don’t already know of the benefits, be sure to check out my article here. If you´re interested in getting an overview about compression socks and gear in general please make sure to read my article here.
But what about compression socks for athletes? You’ve probably read in sports magazines and even in catalogues that compression socks offer benefits to runners and other athletes. Is that true? How do they help?
Let’s look at the benefits of compression socks to athletes, and how compression gear can help you perform better.
Compression Gear: What’s Available?
There are many products on the market which aim to help your circulation. You can buy short compression socks, or socks that go up to your knees. You can also choose compression sleeves, which are like leg-warmers. They fit over your calves, but there is no attached sock.
For the best results, be sure to talk to your doctor. Many factors can affect the type of compression gear you buy – from your activity level even down to your pronation. But there are some products with which you can’t go wrong. For example, a full-length compression sock can be very beneficial to athletes.
If you have a prescription for compression wear, you already know what to get. Compression socks are sold in different “strengths, from 15 mmHg all the way up to 40. The higher the number, the more pressure the sock will put on your veins and muscles.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend that you begin with a low-pressure stocking. This is around 15-20 mmHg. You can always increase the strength as you continue in your activity.
How Do Compression Socks Help Athletes?
Alright, so now that you know what you’re looking for, you’re probably interested in how these compression socks will help you. Compression socks are most commonly used by runners, so throughout this article we’ll focus mainly on those athletes. However, understand that compression socks can be used by any athlete. Whether you’re a runner, walker, cyclist or even a jumper, you can benefit from compression socks.
First of all, compression socks increase your blood circulation. They open up the veins which lead from your lower extremities (like your feet and your legs) to your heart. This means that more oxygenated blood is carried to your heart while you run.
Your cells use this oxygen to carry out processes which are important to your health. One of those processes actually reduces the lactic acid in your blood stream. If you’re not familiar with lactic acid, it’s the stuff that causes you to feel pain when you work out. It also contributes to the soreness you feel after you work out.
Wearing compression socks is also thought to help regulate your heart rate. Step tests were conducted on those who did and did not wear compression gear. Those who were not wearing compression socks had a higher heart rate and were more easily fatigued than those who were.
Finally, compression socks can help to improve your recovery time after a particularly strenuous workout. They’re known to reduce swelling, increase circulation and help your muscles to heal. This healing property can reduce the amount of time that you feel soreness after your workout.
So, as you can see, there are a ton of benefits to using compression socks during and after your workout. Now, of course, you want to know how to do it! Here’s how you can make the most of compression stockings, socks and sleeves if you’re an athlete.
How Athletes Use Compression Gear
Depending on how they like to work out, athletes use compression gear in a number of ways. Of course, the way they’re used will depend on what the product is. Let’s start with compression sleeves, then we’ll talk about compression socks and stockings.
Compression sleeves do almost the same as compression socks and stockings will. They’re sometimes worn during physical activity, but are more commonly worn as a post-workout recovery tool. During a workout, compression sleeves actually serve a few purposes:
- They’ll protect you from the sun. You can wear comfortable shorts while you run; compression sleeves will prevent sunburn on your legs.
- They’ll improve your circulation. You already know that compression sleeves will bring much needed blood and oxygen to your heart.
- They’ll help to stabilize your body temperature. Compression sleeves are especially helpful for running in the cooler months.
- They may help to enhance your performance. This has been shown to be true in some studies. Runners were able to cover longer distances with less fatigue when wearing compression sleeves.
After a workout, though, it’s recommended that you wear compression sleeves to aid in recovery. Wearing compression gear in the 24 hours after your workout can help reduce those recovery times. Your muscles will repair themselves more quickly, and you’ll feel less sore following your workout.
Compression sleeves aren’t just for your calves, either. You can also find sleeves which will help circulation in your arms and in your thighs. Talk to your doctor about which is best for you.
Compression Socks and Stockings
Compression stockings are knee high socks that you’ll wear either during or after a workout. Compression socks are shorter, and can even look like foot braces or ankle socks. They’ll work in ways very similar to compression sleeves, but have additional benefits, as they will also protect your feet.
When you’re on your feet, gravity takes its toll on your body. Blood will pool in your legs and feet, causing swelling, pain, and the buildup of lactic acid. Wearing compression stockings will help with this. The stockings will start at your feet, applying firm pressure to your veins and muscles. The blood which has collected in your feet will rise toward your heart.
In this way, compression stockings aren’t just useful for runners. People who are on their feet all day can also take advantage. Nurses and doctors, wait staff and others will feel a huge difference in their feet when they use compression socks and stockings.
Don’t wear your compression stockings overnight, though. It’s best to go home, remove your stockings, then get a good night’s sleep. In the morning, put your stockings on again and wear them all day for the best results.
So, you see? Compression sleeves, stockings and socks can not only help to improve your circulation but can also help to stabilize your temperature and your heart rate, protect you from the sun and bump up your recovery time following a workout. If you feel that you need a prescription, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Otherwise, pick up a lower pressure pair of compression stockings; you’ll notice a difference in your workout!
Our Compression Socks for Runners and Athletes
Made for the ambitious athlete and designed with the latest innovation in moisture management. These high performance sport socks support, heal, regulate temperature and protect your feet during each run or exercise. If you´re serious about sports you gotta have these.
The classic knee-high compression solution for perfect blood circulation, less swellings and faster regeneration after and during runs or exercises. Available in four beautiful colors and made from high quality materials to last for years to come.
These little wonders support the back of the foot perfectly and are targeted at the ankles, heels, soles and Achilles tendons. If you´re having problems with your feet and ankles during or after long runs you should definitely give them a go as they might change your life forever.
7 different compression zones give you the best all around experience you can have with a sporty, yet comfortable pair of compression socks. You can wear them either during your runs or afterwards for regeneration purposes. These socks are not only made for runners but will benefit hikers, nurses, waitresses and every other person needing to spend hours on their feet.