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Compression 101: Benefits of Compression

New to the wondrous world of compression? Welcome. Compression products offer a plethora of benefits for health, comfort, recovery, and physical performance. Maybe you’ve seen your favorite professional athletes wear compression garments on the court or field -- spotted on pros in basketball, baseball, football, and beyond.

The benefits that professionals get from compression products isn’t limited to athletes at a high level. Active people in all kinds of sports and activity -- from running to kickboxing to swimming -- can benefit from compression garments. So, just what are the benefits of compression? Let’s take a little course we’ll call Compression 101, to explain the benefits of compression products like Kunto Fitness’ line. 

 

Benefits of Compression

Increased circulation. At the top of list of benefits for compression products is increased circulation. The blood circulatory system delivers oxygen, nutrients, and energy to muscles and joints in the body. It’s the literal lifeline of the human body. The firm, consistent pressure put onto parts of the body by compression products helps to increase circulation to the area. That increased circulation has a whole host of benefits on its own, but has been connected with quicker recovery, improved performance, and reduced risk of injury.

Reduced risk of strain injuries. Overworked or overused muscles can suffer from what is called a “strain injury.” Strain injury -- often referred to as a “pulled muscle” -- can be caused by not properly warming up or pushing a muscle too far. Compression products have been shown to reduce the risk of strain injuries by keeping muscles warm and keeping circulation flowing to the area. Compression is also one of the core elements recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) for muscle strain recovery as part of the well-known and widely used RICE method -- Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

Faster workout recovery. Of all the benefits of compression products, faster recovery has been the most widely studied. The increased flow of oxygen and blood to the body from compression garments has been shown to be super effective in helping athletes and active individuals recover from workouts quicker. The compression of muscles has been shown to help remove lactic acid from muscles faster -- reducing that day-after soreness that occurs after an intense workout. The faster recovery has also been linked to the compression garments’ ability to improve performance. The faster you feel comfortable exercising again -- the faster you will see results from your workout efforts. Benefits are best seen when the compression garments are worn for a few hours after a workout or training.

Improved athletic performance. The support that compression garments have been shown in multiple peer reviewed studies to improve athletic performance. The measurable impact is most noticeable in certain sports that include quick bursts of explosive energy -- like basketball and baseball -- but athletes in almost all sports have reported some improvements to performance. For example, weight lifters reported a decrease in soreness from wearing compression products -- leading to better training sessions and overall improved performance.

Enhanced body awareness. While it’s harder to measure, there is no doubt that compression products have a positive mental impact as well. Any high performing athlete will tell you that physical challenges are intensely mental -- not just physical. With compression products, the pressure brings your mental awareness to that part of the body. You are focusing on how it’s moving, how it’s feeling, and how it’s impacting your workout. This mental focus can improve performance by helping you identify areas for improvement. It trains your brain to pay attention to your body -- and could help you prevent injuries from improper posture or overuse.

Body temperature regulation. The higher quality compression garments include moisture wicking fabric. This added benefit can help the body regulate temperature. In hot climates, the moisture wicking fabric pulls moisture away to keep the skin cool. In cold temps, compression products improve circulation and offer a layer of protection -- keeping the body properly warm. When your body is at the proper temperature, you can avoid conditions caused by extreme weather like heat exhaustion or frostbite.

Improved perceived exertion. You know those days when your run or workout feels almost effortless? That’s the feeling that compression products can give you. According to a study published in Sport Medicine, compression garments like shorts, tights, and socks improved perceived exertion in endurance runners. In short, they felt like the garments made their runs easier.

More comfort. Not only do compression garments offer a long list of physiological benefits, the products offer a simple advantage for any person -- comfort. The snug fit helps active individuals avoid uncomfortable side effects of exercise -- like chafing and rubbing. Additionally, the tight fit offers a sense of comfort. Sort of like a hug from your clothes!

Quicker injury recovery. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to recover from an injury. Compression -- as covered in the RICE theory -- is helpful in speeding along the injury healing process. The increased blood circulation brings oxygen to the area faster than with no compression. Proper compression also increase flow of the lymph fluid which carries vital nutrients needed to repair an injury. The lymph fluid also removes waste -- which can mean faster elimination of the damaged tissue.

With benefits like improved performance and quicker recovery, we can see why there has been an explosion of professional athletes wearing compression products. For the everyday active person, the benefits of compression products are tremendous and for the pro -- even better. If you would like to learn more about compression products and Kunto Fitness -- please visit  www.kuntofitness.com.

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