Running Into Unknown Territory

runningRunning is great for your entire body, right? Of course it’s healthy for your muscles, your respiratory system, and your cardiovascular system,  but it can leave you with aching legs and feet.

This might not happen to you as a young person – believe me, I could have never imagined my legs aching so much after a long run, when I was younger. But now, I’m a little up there in age, and I really start to feel it. I’m Bill. I’m a healthy 53 year old man, who has run many marathons throughout his life. And, I still try to get in a few miles, daily.

When the aching first started happening to me, post-run, it kind of took me by surprise and I thought that it would go away, but unfortunately, it just persisted. Over time, it even started making itself apparent as I was running, and I knew this was something that needed to be addressed. Although massaging my legs and feet seemed to work in the short-term, whenever I got back out there to jog a mile, the aching returned. This wasn’t just the regular aching you might experience from bad shoes, either. This was something more pressing.

I surfed the web a bit, and found that what I might need is a pair of compression socks. “Compression socks!,” I thought. “I’m really an old man now, aren’t I?” I was under the impression that “compression wear” is only something that senior citizens wear, or people with serious venous conditions. Frankly, I was just ignorant, and didn’t do a whole lot of research. What I found was that although compression socks are often used to help treat serious venous issues (lymphedema, etc.), they can also be used just to mildly increase blood flow and prevent leg swelling. This was news to me. I had no idea they came in different compression levels, and are made with so many different options of materials.

Since I’m an active guy, and I needed some support while running, so I thought it would only make sense to pick up a few pairs of athletic compression socks. My people on forums and blogs were saying how great of a brand Jobst is. Trusting these praises, I went with a pair of Jobst Sport Knee-High 15-20 – a fairly mild compression. How old-man can these compression socks be? After all, they have the word “sport” in their name. As it turns out, not old-man at all. In fact, they look and feel just like regular athletic socks, only I know that with these, I’m getting the preventative care I need, so my legs won’t hurt anymore. And, the truth is, they really don’t.

I think I can make a pretty good analogy with these kinds of compression socks. They’re just like reading glasses, really. You may not have a real problem seeing, but they’ll help your eyes see better than they already do – which may be pretty good! Affordable, comfortable, and truly effective, these Jobst socks have helped me a whole lot.

The best piece of advice I can give regarding this topic, is that wearing compression socks does not necessarily mean that you’re aging poorly. Depending on the type and the compression level, people of all ages and lifestyles can wear them. This is something I never, ever knew.