Compress yourself; What is compression gear, how does it work, and why you need it now

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Compression gear, we’ve all heard of it, but what does it actually do?

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Erika Heynatz wears Body Science Elite Athletic Tight in royal blue, RRP $150.00 and Body Science Elite Bra in grey, RRP $50.00, both available from Stylerunner.com

We know it’s tight and black, kind of serious-looking and hugs the oh-so perfectly carved muscles of professional athletes. So, why are we seeing more and more women on our morning run wearing it? We get to the bottom of it right here.

By Fashion Contributor Narissa Moeller

Why so damn tight?

Compression gear must be super snug as its main job is to provide surface pressure to specific parts of the body – That’s why it’s usually made out of nylon and spandex. Pressure on muscles improves circulation and oxygen flow, helping to remove lactic acid build-up when working out.

“Forget diamonds – a good pair of compression tights,  is a girl’s best friend,” Erika Heynatz.

The result?

Without the build-up of lactic acid, your muscles won’t feel tired and sore which means, one, you can work out longer, harder and faster, and two, you won’t pull up sore the next day allowing you to perhaps take that cycle class again.

Do you only wear it when you exercise?

As silly as this may sound, sleeping in compression gear also helps muscles recover after intense training. It can also be worn on the legs while travelling on aircraft or in cars long distance to reduce swelling from sitting down for such a long period of time.

What else?

Another great thing about compression wear is that it actually keeps the body cool in hot climates and muscles warm when it’s cold. Keeping muscles warm in winter is important in preventing muscle fatigue which can lead to injuries that can potentially put a halt to your exercise regime. Some athletes, particular runners and surfers also wear it to prevent chafing on the insides of the legs.

Which type should you buy?

When trying to find a suitable compression garment, it all comes down to what purpose or activity you want it to benefit you in, as well as what muscles you use the most. For example, if you’re a runner, then compression tights for the legs are what you need. Sometimes the upper-body needs a bit of compression lovin’ too, especially tennis players as they use a lot of arm muscles. A long or short sleeve top would be ideal for this type of activity.

There are some great brands around at the moment. Australian online store, Stylerunner (www.stylerunner.com) specialises in premium active wear labels. They have just brought on compression wear brands such as Body Science, 2XU, CXW and performax. Their latest campaign stars the super-fit Erika Heynatz, photographed by Titus Pengelly (See above).

If you’re serious about exercising and looking after your body in the process, compressing yourself in the latest gear may just be your next step to a happier, healthier, fitter you.

 

 

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Narissa Moeller

CONTRIBUTOR

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