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How Compression Socks Can (Fashionably) Improve Your Life After 50!

By Sixty and Me March 31, 2020 Health and Fitness

We get it – no one wants to be told that they should wear compression stockings. Traditionally, medical compression socks have been thick, yellow-toned and uncomfortable. But, that’s not the case anymore!

Compression sock manufacturers have made huge strides over the last decade in quality and style. They’ve released tons of new styles, fabrics and patterns that feel great and will match any outfit.

Plus, these socks and stockings are packed with real, scientifically-backed health benefits – so why are we fighting them? Wearing compression socks can reduce aches and pains in your legs, improve circulation, prevent swelling and varicose veins and decrease recovery time after exercise. 

What Exactly Are Compression Stockings? 

Compression socks are specially knit knee-high socks that apply graduated pressure to the ankle and leg to improve circulation in your legs. The pressure is greatest at the ankle and decreases up the leg.

Compression thigh highs, pantyhose and leggings work the same way, but have compression that goes all the way up to the thigh.

Why Do I Need Them?

Our venous system is working very hard to move blood from our heart to our toes and back to our heart again. Some days, we’re moving around enough that our leg muscles flex and act as pumps to help push the blood back up our legs.

Unfortunately, a lot of us are not moving around as much as we should be. Sitting or standing for long periods of time causes blood to pool in our ankles. And, as we age, our circulatory system tends to need more help and support. That’s where compression stockings can give you that extra boost in circulation!

What Are the Possible Medical Benefits? What Can These Socks Do for Me?

Not only can compression socks improve our comfort, but, they may also have medical benefits. Of course, each person’s body is unique, so, it makes sense to check with your doctor regarding the possible benefits of compression socks for you.

That said, here are a few of the potential benefits:

  • Enhance circulation which energizes legs and reduces the feeling of heaviness 
  • Prevent swelling in the ankle and calves
  • Treat and prevent spider and varicose veins
  • Improve athletic performance – whether you’re walking, golfing or on the tennis court
  • Reduce muscle soreness after physical activities 

How Do I Choose a Compression Level?

If you haven’t worn compression before, we suggest starting off with a 15-20 mmHg level sock. This is the standard level for travel, as well as for anyone who sits or stands for a majority of the day.

There are stronger compression levels, but we suggest speaking with a doctor before trying those.

Looking for great deals on compression socks? Check out our friends at Brightlife Direct.

How Do I Pick a Compression Sock Size?

Most compression socks and stockings are sized by measurement of your ankle, calf and leg length. This might seem like a pain, but using measurements ensures that you’re getting exactly the right amount of pressure on your leg.

You will find some socks that are sized by shoe size – which is much easier to select – but you might not find the fit as comfortable.

Let’s Get Down to Fashion. What Fabrics and Styles Are Available?

Nearly everything you can imagine! You really just have to think through how you’ll be wearing them. If you usually wear sheer stockings, there are many options available to you in nearly every skin tone under the sun.

If you’re more of a standard black sock fan – you can get those in cotton, wool, microfiber or more. If you’re planning to go for a jog, there are sporty socks with padded soles that will go great with all of your sneakers. And, if you want some pattern in your life – there are tons of options available from argyle to stripes to sheer floral!

There are even options with an open toe, which means you can wear your open toe shoes and flip flops while still supporting your legs!

Margaret Manning’s Take

“I’ve had challenges with circulation issues for many years. Varicose veins, spider veins and occasional tingling have all become my new ‘normal.’ In addition, after sitting at my desk for hours, I often experienced that ‘kneedles and pins’ sensation.

Wearing Brightlife Direct’s compression socks made all the difference. I started with the 15-20 mmHg level sock and found it very comfortable and unobtrusive. I tried the Allegro Essential Sheer Support Knee Highs with Open Toe in Nude. Not only did it slide on easily but at the end of the day, my legs felt energized and relaxed. The open toe made them so very comfortable and they helped enormously with my swollen ankles!

I find it amazing that such a small addition to my wardrobe could make so much difference. Plus, they look surprisingly good!”

Have you ever tried compression socks? What was your experience? What do you think that the main benefits are for women our age of wearing compression socks? Let’s have a chat!

Thank you to our friends at Brightlife Direct for sponsoring this article. For great prices on compression socks, please check out their website.

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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