"You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20,NLT).
The benefits of regular exercise are almost impossible to overestimate. Susie Michelle Cortright got it right when she said, "Exercise is good for your mind, body, and soul." Exercise is also God-honoring in that it helps you care for that which God has entrusted to you.
The Apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of caring for one's body. "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20,NLT).
Of course, as you exercise, you want to ensure you are well equipped to handle the additional stresses caused by the exercise. If you exercise by running over great distances, for example, you should look for ways to minimize chafing, rashes, or stiffness while shortening recovery time. If that describes your needs, compression sportswear may be for you.
Made of a spandex-like material, compression sportswear is a form-fitting option chosen by many athletes across a variety of sports. Hockey players, tennis players, football players, cyclists, and runners are just a sampling of the array of athletes employing compression sportswear to increase effectiveness, safety, and recovery.
Compression sportswear can provide multiple benefits to the wearer during exercise, competition, training, or other physical exertion. Wearers may experience more support, greater speed, better oxygenation, and a diminished likelihood of injury. Some suggest that compression sportswear can even improve athletic performance and endurance.
Following exercise, however, is when most of the benefits of compression sportswear are enjoyed. Athletes who regularly wear compression sportswear report having less soreness or tightness following physical activity. Faster recovery periods, lower levels of fatigue, reduced amounts of lactic acid production, and less swelling--particularly in the legs and ankles--are also commonly experienced. Plus, as the garments move sweat away from the body, athletes experience less skin irritation.
Some athletes use compression garments for modesty. Female tennis players who typically wear skirts, for example, might wear compression garments underneath to prevent embarrassing situations such as skirts riding up or underwear being revealed. Some men will use compression garments to instead of a jock strap, occasionally fitting a cup under the garments. In fact, some compression sportswear manufacturers now produce compression shorts with a cup pocket built in.
Manufacturers have made similar adjustments for tennis players, adding ball pockets so the players can conveniently store and have quick access to extra tennis balls. Likewise, extra padding has been incorporated into compression sportswear for sports involving the potential of bumping and sliding, particularly when other padding is not generally worn.
Of course, compression garments are not exclusively used by athletes. People who suffer from conditions that cause poor circulation find that compression garments improve circulation, forcing the blood to flow back through the heart, thus stimulating the transport and absorption of oxygen. For this same reason, travelers who spend exorbitant amounts of time on airplanes or in automobiles find that compression stockings help limit swelling and increase circulation. Those who work at jobs requiring long hours of standing (e.g. nurses and teachers) use compression garments on the legs to keep swelling down and avoid the development of circulatory problems. Compression stockings in particular are able to lower the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis (the formation of blood clots inside a blood vessel) and the progression of other venous medical disorders. While lower grades of compression-garment options are freely available, higher grades may require a prescription.
Compression sportswear and other compression garments provide an array of benefits for the wearer, contributing to their recent increase in popularity. More than a fad, compression garments appear to be here to stay.