Tighter Clothes = Tighter Body?

Tighter Clothes to Help Circulation for Spider Veins and Varicose VeinsA look at compression clothing’s impact on workout performance and recovery

For years, compression clothing has been used in the medical field for the treatment of myriad different ailments. With proven results in improving circulation and supporting bodily tissues by applying constant pressure, compression clothing can help in the treatment of spider veins and varicose veins, improve low blood pressure, prevent swelling in the ankles and legs, help with the healing of wounds and even help recover movement in patients who suffer from paralysis or arthritis.

More recently, we’ve seen compression clothing emerge onto the consumer market in the form of shape-correcting undergarments, which claim to enhance your figure by making your belly or legs look trimmer. But compression clothing has also made its way into the world of athletic wear, with many advocates suggesting that compression gear can help you shape and tone your body for real by improving athletic performance and boosting muscle recovery. Already widely used by athletes both professional and amateur, the claims about compression gear helping with athletic performance are many, but are compression gear’s exercise benefits tangible or just another baseless workout fad?

Athletic Performance

Although research has suggested that compression clothing may decrease muscle fatigue by reducing muscle vibrations, most proponents claim that compression gear benefits athletic performance most by improving circulation and blood flow. This is backed up by a small amount of research, which asserts that better circulation will allow your body to use less energy to perform the same or even more strenuous tasks, but studies into this claim’s veracity are few and unconvincing. In other words, much more research is needed before we should believe assertions that compression clothing has incredible performance-enhancing abilities.

Muscle Recovery

On the other hand, research into compression clothing’s ability to help you recover after a workout is substantially more conclusive. The improved circulation offered by compression gear has been shown to help with speedier muscle recovery, while wearing compression gear after a workout will help to diminish any muscle soreness that may set in later. With several different studies concluding that compression gear helps your body recover after a workout, this claim has a lot more weight behind it.

The Takeaway

Though it doesn’t seem that wearing compression clothing during a workout will give you superhuman strength, wearing it afterwards may help you bounce back from strenuous activity. Compression clothing has been around for a long time, but experts are still looking into how it can impact things outside of the medical field, so stay tuned for further research. If you have any questions about how compression clothing impacts your body’s circulation, ask Dr. Perry.


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