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Get Your Compression On!

Compression garments are all the rage in endurance sports these days – especially compression socks. There are, however, two distinct schools of thought as to whether the socks should be worn during exercise or simply as a recovery aid after a hard workout or race. Personally, I wear compression only as a before and after tool – I sleep in compression tights if I’ve had a long training session and need to feel fresh to go at it again the following day, and also the night before each race. I wear socks or tights following a major workout or race to help speed my recovery. And always, I wear compression socks when I travel by plane.

Compression socks actually originated in the medical industry and are often prescribed as an aid for people with circulation issues. The socks are particularly useful when flying to keep one’s legs from suffering poor circulation and excessive swelling. It’s absolutely the norm these days for athletes and industry insiders to travel wearing compression apparel. The one gripe I’ve had, however, is that at times I don’t want to wear a full sock – especially if my travel outfit involves open-toed shoes or flip-flops. Recently, a friend sent me the perfect solution to this conundrum – Compression Calf Sleeves from multi-sport apparel manufacturer 2XU.

The calf sleeves fit snugly from my ankles to just below my knees, giving my calves just the right amount of supportive squeeze. By maximizing the blood flow to my extremities, the sleeves make my legs feel more energized and protected from the pitfalls of sitting too long in one confined spot. What I love most is that I can wear them beneath my jeans with flip-flops, and no one is the wiser – they’re like a secret weapon to keep my muscles happy, healthy and ready to tackle my next adventure!