Looking after your muscles is absolutely essential when it comes to fitness. If you don’t take good care of your body, exercising will become an uphill battle. It can already be tough enough as it is; you don’t need injuries making things even harder. Fortunately, compression garments could be the answer to your problems.
What are compression garments?
To those unaware, compression garments are pieces of clothing that you can wear on your upper or lower half. Typically made from nylon and spandex, they conform to your body shape and are reasonably tight. Their purpose is to put pressure on the areas they cover, with the level of this varying depending on how tight the clothing is. You can get compression garments as shorts, shirts, socks, pants, and even full-body attire. You can also buy them as sleeves for your arms or legs if you prefer.
Why do you need muscle recovery?
Every time you work out, you make slight tears in your muscles. This might seem like a problem, but it’s actually how you grow stronger. That’s because you build up more muscle fibers every time this happens. Unfortunately, damaging your body this way comes at a cost, and that’s the soreness you feel post-workout. It’s referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness, and it’s different from an actual injury. However, provided you allow your body time to recover, the discomfort should disappear relatively quickly, ensuring you don’t do yourself any real damage.
What does the research say?
There’s no clear-cut answer as to whether compression garments are the perfect aid for muscle recovery. However, research has presented several ways that this clothing can help, with the evidence certainly looking quite credible. For one, creatine kinase levels are apparently lower in those who exercise with compression garments. Those with reduced levels of this enzyme reportedly take less time to recover. Moreover, compression garments apparently lessen the pain and inflammation experienced post-workout, with the increased blood flow helping to decrease soreness and fatigue. However, you’re most likely to receive these benefits when wearing the clothing after a workout rather than during.
What should you consider when buying compression garments?
When it comes to compression garments, it’s not simply a case of one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to ensure it’s perfectly tailored to your body and your fitness needs if you want to reap the rewards. For example, if you do a lot of running or cycling, compression garments for the lower body are the best choice. Moreover, if you frequently experience pain or injury in certain areas, such as your calf, you’ll want to ensure the clothing focuses on this part. There’s also flexibility to consider, which may be essential if you’re doing something like yoga.
Wearing compression garments isn’t a guarantee that you’ll avoid soreness or injury after working out. However, there’s enough research out there to indicate that this clothing can make things easier for you if you exercise regularly. That’s exactly what you need when you’re dedicated to living a fit and healthy lifestyle.