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Gearing up for your active lifestyle: The importance of compression gear

Gearing up for your active lifestyle: The importance of compression gear

by Chris Williams
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In today’s age working has been less physical and more sitting at your desk on a computer, and people have noticed its adverse effects like weight gain and muscular or joint pains from being immobile for a long period of time. To counteract these effects people have started to shift to having a more active lifestyle, and it’s starting to catch on. People have been seeing the benefits of being physically fit. Activities such as jogging, walking or going to the gym have provided evident benefits including improved metabolism and cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

This trend has also been noticed by industries who benefit from the rebirth of popularity of physical activities. Designs and technology have improved from the having leotards and muscle shirts back in the 90s brands have created more functional and fashionable equipment that people who are both old and new to the gym scene can use such as yoga pants and various new articles of clothing are made available. Footwear have significantly been affected by this advancement and have diversified into having a different pair with different features for different activities. Basketball, Jogging, Running, and Cross training are some of the types that have been more popular and each pair claiming to have features to improve performance and safety while doing said activities. Besides shoes other garments have also been more about function than fashion.

Compression shirts, pants, socks and sleeves. These articles of clothing have been available for a long time and have now been part of the regular arsenal of sporting gear. Doctors used to prescribe the use of compression garments only to patients with blood circulation problems, now a days however compression garments have become more popular to gym-goers and active people for its various benefits.

WHAT ARE COMPRESSION GEAR?
Compression Garments are articles of clothing that are made of elastic tight fitting material. They usually come in the form of shirts, sleeves, and socks. They vary in how the fabric is cut or designed targeting specific muscle groups. The sock variety are known to have variants that can reach up to knee length and sleeves can be span the entire arm length. Wearing compression garments may sometimes feel a bit awkward specially those who are new to it, but as time passes the user gets accustomed to the feel of a tight fit compression garment gives the feeling of having a second skin. Other than design and length, compression garments also come in various degrees of compression having options from soft to strong pressure.

HOW DO THEY HELP ME?
These garments are used to have a tight, form-fitting garment over your muscles. Having the muscles compressed blood is able to circulate into and through them better help prevent muscle soreness (DOMS) or inflammation and increase the time before fatigue sets in. Compression gear helps blood flow better in places where it would at times slow down ensuring that your limbs are as healthy as possible. In some cases compression gear is also prescribed to prevent blood from clotting after operations especially ones where the patient will not be able to move actively for a period of time after the operation.

The science behind compression gear is found in the degree of compression applied by the garment. Having too tight of a compression will block off instead of help blood circulate better. In compression socks for example the degree of compression is higher at the ankle area and decreases as the garment runs up to the knee allowing blood to continue to pass through the veins with ease.

Various brands and designs have different features when it comes to compression gear. Some provide added cushioning, while some focus on absorbing perspiration in the inner part of the garment and seeping it out on the outer side allowing for more comfortable use of the garment. Never the less compression garments in general will still aim to improve your blood circulation.

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT TO MY LIFESTYLE?
Having an active lifestyle has its pros and cons. Muscular pain and injuries are part of the cons of being physically active. Muscles are gradually damage during workouts or when strained, it’s part of the natural process of development. This causes muscles to produce lactic acid which are felt as soreness or DOMS. Compression gear can reduce the production of lactic acid while improving the blood flow on the compressed areas allowing for more oxygen to be fed to the muscles. This results in longer fatigue set in times and increased muscle recovery times.

Our joints are also affected by strenuous activities and are a critical to daily activities. They are subjected to great demand during workouts which expose them to potential ailments and injuries due to being overworked. Though they may go away on its own join ailments or injuries may become chronic as time passes if not allowed to recover properly or attention is not provided to the pains. This prevents us from doing more activities without feeling pain. As with muscles compression gears aid in the recover process of our joints as well using the same concepts as it did with muscles along.

 

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