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A Hug For Your Legs (#4)

Top 9 Gifts for Runners – According to the Experts

Nothing says I love you like a giant hug—which is why our fourth gift recommendation in the series involve compression. Nearly all professional teams and top college running programs use a form of compression whether they are using wearable options or pneumatic compression recovery systems.

Wearable compression pants manufacturers claim their tights send blood to the heart by squeezing leg muscles and glutes. They also say they help keep muscles compact, reducing vibrations, which in theory help runners move faster. Since they tend to be thicker than normal running tights, they are also warmer, which makes for a perfect winter present for a runner. They are designed to have a very tight fit— (which means if you are looking for a gift for your partner, it could be a gift for you as well). Prices range from $40-$200, depending on the brand.

One step above compression tights in both price and function are something called dynamic air compression or pneumatic compression recovery systems. The pants are giant legs that fit over your clothes and squeeze your legs by puffing up with air—think giant blood pressure cuff on your legs. The massage feels good, and they look cool too, like you are preparing for a spacewalk.

Originally used for lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and similar medical needs like diabetes and pulmonary embolisms, they have recently been used by runners as a recovery tool. Using the same theories touted for these pathologies, increased circulation and lymphatic movements should also help recovery. Research studies have found improvements in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and in pain perception.

According to Zach Dangel, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, CF-L1 from Prehab, “Pneumatic air compression pants are a fantastic recovery tool as they provide a form of passive recovery.” He goes on to explain, “Many recovery methods involve more light activity such as recovery runs, foam rolling, and stretching, or more intense methods like deep tissue massage. While those are all great, sometimes passive recovery is needed to allow complete relaxation as well. They can be combined with elevation, meditation, breathing exercises or a nap.”

Runners who use them notice improvements in recovery time, allowing for more effective workouts, making them a one-of-a-kind gift for an avid runner. Prices for high quality pneumatic air compression pants range from $600-$2000.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve given our top gift ideas for runners. If you missed them, they are posted on our blog. If you want to be sure you don’t miss any others, don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

If you have a question or comment, please post below and we’ll be happy to respond. Or contact us.

Keywords: running, training, marathon, 5K, 10K, ankle pain, performance, knee pain, shin splints, injury prevention

Prehab is a science-based running clinic with locations in New York City and San Diego, also offering services virtually. Our mission is to help all levels of runners enjoy the sport with top performance, while preventing injury.

Why rehab when you can prehab?®


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