There’s this fad nowadays in the fitness and running industry involving compression gear, more specifically, compression socks. But are they just fashionable or do they really serve a purpose?
I’m taking today’s Did You Know Friday link-up post to go through the facts about the benefits of compression socks! Did You Know Friday is where we learn all about a different fitness, nutrition or health topic. (Check out more about the Did You Know Link-Up info here!)
Side note on the link-up: this is probably our last link-up, however, Did You Know Fridays will still continue (!!) on the first Friday of each month. More details to follow!)
What Do Compression Socks Do?
Compression socks increase the circulation in the legs by gently squeezing them to move the blood up the legs. The increased blood circulation and compression does have many proven benefits as well as some perceived benefits.
Benefits of Compression Socks
1. Improved recovery. The increased blood flow allows the muscles to repair quicker.
2. Improved running speed – when wearing them after a race. It seems this has to do with the recovery, but it’s worth mentioning that studies have shown runners improving their times after wearing them.
3. Decrease puffy legs due to the constriction of the socks which doesn’t let fluid collect in the lower legs.
4. Help eliminate varicose veins because of increased circulation.
Fun fact: There’s an additive effect, so you can layer compression socks over compression pantyhose.
Possible Benefits to Compression Socks
Better performance during running and other workouts. Here are some of the reasons I found why compression could be better for you to wear during workouts, but I haven’t found any studies backing this up yet (let me know if you find one! I’m super interested to hear if this is true!!):
-The increased blood flow of oxygenated blood helps prevent lactic acid build up. Lactic acid is something that makes your muscles sore, so if your muscles aren’t sore, you should be able to perform better. It is though that the increased blood flow in the legs will make the blood flow back to the heart faster and get rid of the lactic acid.
-Prevents vibration of the muscles and joints. One thing that makes our bodies tired when running is the impact of the shock and vibrations so this does make sense that the compression could help a little bit.
My Personal use of Compression Socks
I’ve used compression socks for a few months now. I purchased them to help with my half-marathon race training recovery because so many runners swear by them.
I’ve used them to wear during running, however mostly I just use them the next day or two after a tough run or one of the many hikes I did in Colorado.
Sometimes I also wear them at the café on a long shift (although they do get kind of toasty if I’m running around a lot) or on long car trips since I’m sitting for a long time and blood doesn’t move around very well. (Elevation helps a bit, too.)
I’m actually wearing them as I type this because Dave is headed over now to pick me up so we can head back up north to Minnesota to pack up our life! <-sounds super fun, yes? (Also, still no new news on where we are going to live when we actually get back…ugh.)
My thoughts: I do seem to recover better when I use them and I think I recovered especially well after my half marathon and after reading up on compression more thoroughly, I can see why. The jury is still out on whether or not they improve performance while wearing them, but I might continue to do so on occasion.
Also the ones I have are super cute and I think I’m going to keep wearing them. Just being honest.
Other Did You Know Posts You May Enjoy:
Epsom Salt Baths (for recovery)
Did I leave anything out? What do you think about wearing compression socks, or any compression gear for that matter? (let me know in the comments below or via Twitter!)
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