As a self-improvement tool, physical conditioning of the body is an excellent way of increasing the quality of your health, your relationships, and your overall outlook on life. Whether it be resistance training, interval training, endurance training, or any other type of structured exercise, placing a demand on the body to which our physical structure can respond and adapt to in a positive manner is beneficial. All of us have seen the miracle of hard work with a coach or trainer, and at Accelerated Fitness we monitor and track our clients’ progress to literally accelerate towards their established goals. But, unfortunately, sometimes our reach exceeds our grasp. The concept our trainers work hard to prevent and are all too familiar with: overtraining.
In terms of exercise, overtraining is defined as a failure to adapt to a specific training load. Also, if that training load is increased, then a noticeable decrease in performance is observed and/or measured. Professional athletes work as hard if not harder to recover from exercise than actually exercising. Weight loss is no exception. Most of you reading this article are familiar with the level of commitment it takes to work hard with a coach or trainer in order to improve your body composition (aka lose excess fat). During that process the threat of overtraining is always looming over your head. That is why professional coaches and trainers always build in recovery modalities to a program. One well-known but rarely considered modality is a pair of compression socks.
Compression therapy is not a new concept in the world of athletic training or physical therapy, but it is new to personal training. Commonly used for the temporary relief of varicose veins or orthostatic hypotension (a form of low blood pressure), athletes of all backgrounds are now utilizing this hidden advantage. Runners are among the most popular who don the articles of clothing, primarily for post-workout recovery. During almost all forms of exercise, metabolic wastes build up in and surrounding the musculature. Combined with the micro-trauma to the muscle, damage to the area is apparent and in need of attention. That is when the lymphatic system jumps in, removing those wastes and helping to rebuild those damaged tissues. Inflammation, we all know about it, we all can’t live without it.
To assist with the body’s natural processes, various forms of compression can squeeze out the built up metabolic toxins and flush them back into the circulatory system, allowing a faster clearance of all that garbage you accumulated during yesterday’s workout. One easy and affordable way to do this is by wearing compression socks. This modality keeps tension around the musculature of the calf, keeping the swelling down while still allowing the lymphatic system to clean up the damage. This means if your ankles took a beating during a recent HIIT training session, throw those socks on before you get into the car. Your legs will thank you!
In conclusion, if you are having a tough time recovering from those training sessions while still executing all of our recommendations that complement your regimen (which includes proper diet, adequate sleep, optimal hydration, moderate stress management, and pre/post workout protocols), try a pair of compression socks. There is no time limit as to how long you can wear them, as long as you find time to wear them. However many times you train per week should be the amount of times you wear the socks per week. Easily found in athletic goods stores or even your local pharmacy, an average pair of compression socks won’t cost you more than thirty dollars. As for the investment, your feet will feel better, your calves will feel better, and your legs overall will recover faster. During a run or after leg day, compression therapy is an option to accelerate your recovery. At Accelerated Fitness, we work hard to make and keep you healthy!