I've seen my serious running friends are sporting the compression sleeves and socks and I was intrigued by them. I mean, they look super important and I assume they have to work if so many people are using them. So I did a little digging and a few social media calls for input to see what others thought about them and also used a pair of sleeves I got in one of my StrideBox's to do a little research of my own. Oh, and notice the running belt? Ya, I should probably do a review on that baby as well eh?!
- Protection against scratches from branches or bugs. Every runner knows that trees on trails are a pain in the butt, sometimes arm sleeves can help prevent some scratches. And bugs, I'm not sure about you guys but bugs are always chasing after me, this is perfect to help keep them away from me.
- Reduced recovery time for sore muscles. It's obvious that your muscles get tired after extended periods of running, this helps to reduce the amount of time your muscles spend recovering from those longer runs. If you're muscles are under compression sleeves they don't "flop around" as much meaning less time getting them back to normal.
- Improved circulation throughout entire body. With your arms being compressed it helps to keep your blood flowing to the rest of your body, compression is your friend!!
- Reduced chance of muscle strains/tears. Again, this is due to the compression keeping your muscles together and not loose, tight muscles result in less chances of wear and tear on them over extended periods of time working out.
- Extra warmth on longer runs and workouts. Because some days in the early spring in fall I'm just not feeling the full sweater or long sleeves. My core is warm enough but my blood flow to my arms makes my arms feel cold. These babies are just perfect for that reason!
- Layer of sun protection during outdoor runs. They do give you some pretty nifty tan lines if you wear them often, I guess it gives you a reverse farmer tan, something fun to look at! But it is important to keep track of the sun, burns can really reduce your ability to focus your body's energy on running and endurance if you're pouring it all into recovering from a sunburn.
- Reduced amount of muscle swelling. Less swelling ties into the smaller recovery time! Anytime you're moving and working muscles you have muscle fatigue due to them wanting to grow and get stronger. If you keep compression on it then they really have no where to go so they stay in place, reducing swelling! Makes sense to me but not sure I'm getting the point across?!
- Keeps moisture off your arms. This is really just an added benefit and not something oober important. I really hate the feeling of sweat just hanging out on me so these sleeves help to absorb sweat and keep it away from me!
- Ups your "hardcore runner" look on the cool scale! YES! I mean really, when you walk into a race line-up and you see someone with sleeves your mind automatically thinks, "oh great, I'm gonna lose to that guy who is a hard core runner with sleeves"... come on, admit it. It's true.
So, thoughts? Judging by the benefits of them it sounds like they'll help. I think it might partially be mind over matter but I really did feel better after running a little over 4.5 miles last night. I'd love to try out some compression socks as I think they'd be even more beneficial than sleeves so if you know of any company looking for a test dummy send them my way!
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