Do Compression Tights Really Improve Running Performance?

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iStock

You’ve seen them everywhere and you might even own a pair or two. Compression tights are supposed to boost athletic power and help keep us from getting tired during workouts. But can they actually do that? A new Nike-sponsored study says no. The research was recently presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Athletic-wear companies claim that compression tights can essentially hold your muscles in place, decreasing energy-sucking vibrations. The fewer the vibrations, the theory goes, the less energy you’ll expend, and the less tired you’ll become.

Many fans of compression gear also swear by its performance-enhancing properties, which, they say, can help them run farther and faster.

To find out if tights can really do all these things, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recruited 20 experienced male runners. They brought the athletes into the lab, hooked them up to heart monitors and motion-capture devices, and set them running on sensor-filled treadmills. They tracked the runners’ performance on two separate days, one with compression tights worn, and one without.

The Ohio State University

Study co-author Ajit Chaudhari says that wearing the tights did indeed reduce muscle vibration. “However, the reduced vibration was not associated with any reduction in fatigue at all," he said in a statement. "In the study, runners performed the same with and without compression tights.”

After a half-hour of intense exertion, the tights made no significant difference in runners’ jump height, jump landing loading rate, or muscle strength.

Still, Chaudhari notes, that doesn’t mean compression gear is useless. Athletic performance is as much about state of mind as it is muscle tension. "There is nothing in this study that shows it's bad to wear compression tights," he said. "Every little bit of perception counts when running long distances, so they may help runners in ways we aren't able to measure."

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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The Northern Lights Storms Are Getting Names—and You Can Offer Up Your Suggestions

A nameless northern lights show in Ylläs, Finland.
A nameless northern lights show in Ylläs, Finland.
Heikki Holstila, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

While all northern lights are spectacular, they’re not all spectacular in the same way. Aurora borealis, or “northern dawn,” occurs when electrons in the magnetic field surrounding Earth transfer energy to oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere. The molecules then emit the excess energy as light particles, which create scintillating displays whose colors and shapes depend on many known and unknown factors [PDF]—type of molecule, amount of energy transferred, location in the magnetosphere, etc.

Though the “storms” are extremely distinct from each other, they haven’t been named in the past the way hurricanes and other storms are christened. That’s now changing, courtesy of a tourism organization called Visit Arctic Europe. As Travel + Leisure reports, the organization will now christen the strongest storms with Nordic names to make it easier to keep track of them.

“There are so many northern lights visible in Arctic Europe from autumn to early spring that we started giving them names the same way other storms are named. This way, they get their own identities and it’s easier to communicate about them,” Visit Arctic Europe’s program director Rauno Posio explained in a statement.

Scientists will be able to reference the names in their studies, much like they do with hurricanes. And if you’re a tourist hoping to check out other people’s footage of the specific sky show you just witnessed, searching by name on social media will likely turn up better results than a broad “#auroraborealis.”

Visit Arctic Europe has already given names to recent northern lights storms, including Freya, after the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, and Sampo, after “the miracle machine and magic mill in the Finnish national epic poem, ‘Kalevala.’” A few other monikers pay tribute to some of the organization’s resident “aurora hunters.”

But you don’t have to be a goddess or an aurora hunter in order to get in on the action. Anybody can submit a name (along with an optional explanation for your suggestion) through the “Naming Auroras” page here. It’s probably safe to assume that submissions related to Nordic history or culture have a better chance of being chosen, but there’s technically nothing to stop you from asking Visit Arctic Europe to name a northern lights show after your dog.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]