If you work out or are active in general then you have probably come across compression wear. Compression is a phenomena that has really picked up in the past few years with athletes. It has been there for quite sometime but it is becoming more mainstream now. Before you would only see women wear tights but now it is quite common with men also, especially athletes.
What is compression wear?
When it comes to compression in clothing that use spandex to allow it to properly fit around the body part and compress it. Spandex also referred to as Lycra is a material that has elasticity and is stronger than rubber. So when you stretch it out, it won’t break easily. This allows the material to really stretch around the body in form of a shirt, tights, or any other type of clothing. However, once you put it on, it then compresses and ensures your muscles are well bound.
In apparel, there are two types of compression used:
- Graduated compression: this pretty much keeps all the muscles compressed that are covered by the apparel.
- Compartmental compression: this type of compression is tighter at certain areas, more focused compression.
The main idea of compression wear is to apply pressure to certain areas, muscles of the body to ensure proper or even increased blood flow without exerting more energy. It doesn’t just stop there, compression material provides the following benefits:
Prevents injury: When our muscles move during exercise, they form little tears in them. If torn too much, there is a chance of injury. Compression wear provides muscle the support they need to remain intact for a longer period of time. Due to the material bounding the muscles together, they have less chances of tearing. Compression also keeps joints stabile in the same way strapping does, so it prevents any injury to joints also.
Improves recovery: When we exercise or exert our body in any way our body releases lactic acid. Lactic acid is one of the main reasons why we feel sore after workouts, as they build up in our body from the force exerted. Compression wear may actually help reduce the amount of lactic acid released by the body during workouts. By compressing your muscles you actually speed the process of waste removal, this helps get rid of the lactic acid before it builds up. Now you won’t be completely pain-free but you won’t be as sore as you normally are after workouts.
Stay cool: Compression wear employ materials such as nylon and spandex which are breathable. The material is easily dried off also so it allows for sweat to easily be released but instead of sticking onto the material for too long, the sweat dries off. That is why many compression apparel are referred to as Dry-FIT. The material is quite light also so air is easily transferable from it.
Not only does it help you stay cool, but compression wear also provides great protection from the sun. The material is said to provide SPF 50+ so you no longer have to worry about the sun being out and a deterrent to you being active.
Compression wear is not only popular with athletes but also has become very common in maternity and even everyday wear. The support provided by compression material allows a person to have proper flow through the body which allows them to perform at optimal level. You just need to be careful when you purchase compression wear, you need to make sure it isn’t too tight otherwise it may actually do more harm to circulation than benefit it.