Should You Wear Compression Sleeves While Running?
Nobody runs because it is easy. It can provide a grueling challenge, and most people give up before they get very far. There are so many factors that make running difficult, but chief among them are the pain associated with workouts. You’re going to push your body. Your legs will hurt. You’ll gasp for air. There’s a certain tolerance for unpleasantness that has to be developed before you can really master running.
What if you could take away some of that unpleasantness? If there was a simple attire change that made running hurt less, feel better and do your body more good, would you take it? This isn’t fantasy. Wearing the right leg gear really can make a big difference. That leg gear goes by the name of compression sleeves. They aren’t actually magic, but you might be tempted to think otherwise.
WHAT ARE COMPRESSION SLEEVES FOR RUNNING?
Compression sleeves for running are incredibly similar, in principle, to compression socks. The major difference is that sleeves don’t cover the feet. They go from the ankle to the mid calf, or all the way up to the knee.
As the name suggests, they are designed to apply compression on the part of the leg that they cover. This pressure squeezes the leg, and that helps blood circulation. When you stand, gravity pulls on the blood inside your legs and can cause it to pool. This reduces circulation and all of its benefits.
When you run, the contraction of the muscles helps to reduce the pooling, but gravity is still working against you. The compression sleeves help prevent blood from slipping down the veins between muscle contractions, and your overall circulation improves as a result.
This simple addition to your running garb does a surprising amount of work for your body, and the results speak for themselves.
HOW DO COMPRESSION SLEEVES HELP RUNNERS?
Overall, the sleeves are intended to improve performance and reduce negative side-effects from running. This can include swelling, soreness, shin splints and other issues.
When it comes to performance, the advantages of compression sleeves have been demonstrated by science. Studies show that wearing compression tools increases subsequent performances of running. This means the sleeves won’t magically make your first run better, but follow-up runs will show more improvement. The linked study didn’t go into why, but there are some leading medical theories.
The main idea is that improved circulation helps with recovery. When you run, you tax the muscles, and this eventually forces them into anaerobic production (even though running is classified as aerobic exercise). This anaerobic production is a natural response to a shortage of oxygen. The compensation produces lactic acid and other byproducts, and these byproducts are what make you sore.
Compression sleeves help prevent lactic acid production by improving oxygen flow to the muscles. They also help your body take away some of the acid as soon as it’s produced ( by improving lymphatic flow).
The compression sleeves are reducing acid buildup and helping your body manage inflammation generated from the run. This is why you want to consider compression sleeves for shin splints, swelling, soreness and running in general. When you reduce the negative impacts of the run, it’s easy to see how recovery improves and subsequent runs go better.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Let’s recap. You have a fantastic new aid for running because calf compression sleeve benefits are so bountiful:
Improving running performance.
Preventing some injuries.
If you want the best compression sleeves for running, check out Dr. Motion. You can look great and feel even better while you improve your running.