If you're looking for a way to improve your chances of success when it comes to making New Year's resolutions next month, one of the best things you can do is make an effort to boost your workout right now - before you start chowing down on holiday fare.
Though the evidence supporting the benefits of calf compression sleeves and compression wear remains controversial, it's hard to ignore the obvious recovery and support benefits that they've had for athletes in training. In previous articles, we've covered some information intended to help you answer the question "Do Compression Sleeves Actually Work?" , but there's still further conversations to be had about why these simple garments have risen from their medical origins to offer useful solutions to your workout and exercise routines.
If our previous blogs and articles haven't converted you, then the following reasons why compression wear works to boost your workout could give you the push you need to maximize your training and enhance endurance.
1. They Can Improve Running Performance
While the evidence linking compression wear and calf compression sleeves to improved running performance is still in its early stages, there are some indications that wearing compression sleeves could improve your running economy. In other words, they help you to burn less energy, and therefore have the fuel you need in the tank to run harder, farther, and faster. Similar research in Germany discovered that although aerobic capacity remained the same between people wearing calf compression sleeves, and those not wearing them, the athletes with compression wear were able to reach a higher speed, and run longer during a maximal treadmill test. What's more, the compression sleeve wearing participants also had higher running speeds at the anaerobic threshold
The benefits aren't limited to runners, either. Research has begun to suggest that compression wear is capable of boosting performance in other cardio-based activities too - such as endurance cycling. A study in Australia discovered a higher level of oxygen within the muscles of cyclists that were wearing compression garments, and noted the individuals also took longer to reach their anaerobic threshold.
2. They Stabilize and Support the Muscle
Your calf compression sleeves can also boost your workout by wrapping the muscle you're using - providing support and stability as you train. Because the muscle is compressed, the amount of vibration it experiences when connecting with the floor, or moving rapidly is reduced, limiting your chances of soft tissue damage and premature fatigue. In other words, even if your compression garments don't enhance your performance on the track, they may give you the support you need to feel as though you can run farther, and faster, and that can be powerful in itself. After all, if you believe that you can accomplish something, then your chances of actually coming out on top increase significantly.
3. Compression Wear Reduces Pain and Swelling
There's a reason why compression sleeves started life as a medical aid. In previous studies, the evidence has suggested that calf compression sleeves can help to reduce swelling in the legs - particularly in people that spend the majority of their day standing up. In other words, if swelling is an issue in your life, compression sleeves could be the answer.
On the other hand, if it's not swelling but pain that is holding you back, compression can help to alleviate some of your discomfort, and has even been found to be useful at assisting with painful conditions such as tendonitis, shin splints, and cramps. However, it's important to remember that even if your compression wear reduces your pain, it won't make the underlying problem go away - you need to use other measures to cure the injury, which often involves seeking out professional medical help.
4. Compression Improves Circulation to Boost your Workout
Perhaps one of the most commonly cited benefits of calf compression sleeves and other sources of compression wear, is that their unique system of graduated pressure helps to boost your circulation, aiding in recovery and helping to boost performance by getting you back on your feet, faster. Healthy circulation throughout the muscles ensures that oxygen and nutrients can be delivered quickly and effectively to your active cells, enhancing energy levels so that you can boost your workout.
Improved circulation can also help to fight back against post-exercise soreness. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that compression was able to reduce the symptoms associated with "delayed onset muscle soreness", or DOMS, 24 hours after two 10K road-time trials.
5. They Look and Feel Good
Finally, this may not seem important if your main goal is to boost your workout, but the truth is that if you feel comfortable and confident, the chances are that you'll be willing to push yourself to accomplish more the next time you hit the treadmill, approach the track, or get involved with any other type of athletic activity.
Compression garments help to give you a sleek and professional appearance that makes you feel stronger and enhances your self-esteem. After all, most people associate compression wear with professional athletes - as it's seen so often on television screens. At the same time, compression can also wick away additional sweat clinging to your body when the sleeves are made with the appropriate materials. This means that you feel cooler and more comfortable during exercise.
Get Ready to Boost your Workout
There are plenty of great ways to boost your workout, from making sure that you fuel your body properly with the right foods and plenty of water, to changing up your routine and making sure that you target the most essential muscle groups for your particular needs. However, calf compression sleeves can be a good first step towards finding the support and enhanced movement you need for a more confident and impressive performance. If nothing else, the studies show that compression wear can help you to recover faster, which means less time cringing in discomfort, and more time working on your workout.