Serious athletes use compression socks to improve performance and reduce post-workout recovery time. In case you haven’t been following the revolution in sports compression socks, compression stockings feature more pressure near the ankle, at the bottom of the leg, and less pressure around the calf to create a graduated compression effect. Multiple studies have found that this graduated compression design improves circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
There are various occasions when people wear compression socks – for travel, athletics, and medical conditions, for example. We’re going to look at how sports compression socks benefit athletes both on the playing field and during travel to and from games.
How Sports Compression Socks Help Athletes on the Field
1. Improved Venous Return
Venous return is a medical term that refers to the movement of blood back to the heart. During athletic performance, venous return is crucial because this is how blood is cycled through the body and how it picks up fresh nutrients, including oxygen. Poor venous return will drag down an athlete, in other words. Studies have discovered that sport compression stockings, among others, increase venous return by sending more blood through deeper veins via compression of the more superficial veins. This makes sense, since the body naturally uses compression of muscles to combat gravity during venous return.
2. Faster Removal of Waste from Tired Muscles
CEP running or Sigvaris sport compression socks also help flush waste out of muscles during exercise by improving overall circulation. Lactic acid is also flushed out with increased circulation, which leads to faster recovery and less time feeling sore.
3. Boosted Muscle Stamina
Many athletes choose to wear CEP running or Sigvaris sport compression socks during especially long workouts, for several reasons. First, sports compression socks help battle delayed onset muscle soreness. Second, many active types have found they can run, bike or walk longer while wearing compression socks. The calf muscles are especially likely to enjoy extended performance thanks to compression socks.
How Sports Compression Socks Help Athletes during Travel
It’s not unusual for dedicated athletes to wear sports compression socks during games or other workouts, but fewer athletes know that it’s also beneficial to wear compression socks for travel. Athletes must travel regularly to access games and other athletic events. During long flights, the seated position puts more pressure on leg veins, thereby reducing venous return and causing inflammation. Travel compression socks encourage circulation, thereby reducing swelling.
Another important benefit of wearing travel compression socks has to do with a potentially deadly disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Athletes and other passengers may experience DVT after sitting during extended flights. Indeed, a nickname for DVT is “economy-class syndrome,” in reference to the cramped position of many airline seats. Really, any extended period of immobility puts a person at risk of experiencing DVT.
Since DVT usually occurs in the calves and thighs, one warning sign that it may be occurring is pain deep in the leg muscles. However, DVT is too often a silent killer – and indeed, it can kill. Many people became aware of the deadliness of this disorder in 2003, after NBC reporter David Bloom died of pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs), a complication of DVT; Bloom had been reporting from very cramped conditions inside military vehicles in Iraq. In addition to cutting off blood flow to the lungs, the blood clot or thrombus in a DVT case can travel to the brain and cause a stroke, or to the heart, where it can cause a heart attack. Travel compression socks prevent DVT by boosting circulation.
Athletes must be especially vigilant about DVT, since according to AirHealth.org, 85 percent of air travel DVT victims are athletes; endurance athletes are especially at risk. Prevent DVT by flexing your legs every 15 minutes during flights, and by wearing sports compression socks for travel.
If you’re looking for a high-quality product to improve your sports performance and increase circulation during travel, choose CEP running or Sigvaris sport socks. These make excellent compression socks for travel and exercise alike.