How Can a Weighted Blanket Help with Muscle Recovery?

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PPeople are caring for their health more than ever before. And because of current circumstances, most are taking matters into their own hands. Since gyms and personal training sessions have been out of the picture for a while now, CNBC reports an uptick in the number of virtual fitness classes and online training participants.

In fact, despite many gyms closing down, the fitness industry has been able to survive through providing online services. This is because trainers are able to apply their education in a virtual setting. Maryville University’s online exercise science degree shows how trainers who studied at higher education are taught concepts such as movement, nutrition, exercise program design, and counseling and coaching, all of which can be passed on to their virtual clients. And one area that a good trainer will make sure their clients pay particular attention to is the need to properly recover after a workout.

What does recovery entail?
To recover not only means taking a break, but allowing your muscles and muscle tissues to recover from the strain of exercise. Simply taking a rest day isn’t enough to do this. A feature titled ‘4 Science-Backed Workout Recovery Methods’ suggests consuming more protein and taking a cold bath to help mitigate soreness. But another way to help your body, which is just as effective, is with the use of a weighted blanket.

What is a weighted blanket?

A weighted blanket is exactly what it’s named: a blanket that’s heavier than others. In our post ‘What is a Weighted Blanket and its Benefits’, we talked about how these blankets are made out of glass beads and plastic pellets. They’re small objects scattered throughout the blanket, making the weight distributed. Therefore, it never feels like there’s something heavy on top of you (even though they weigh 15 pounds or more), and you can use it while you sleep.

How do weighted blankets help with recovery?

Weighted blankets work very similarly to deep pressure therapy. This is when another person applies a moderate amount of force that calms your body. Think of it as a firm hug. The weight helps the body relax, leading to your muscles relaxing too. It can also help you sleep better, which is beneficial for recovery.

However, that’s not the only way weighted blankets can help you recover. In the sports community, athletes make use of a method called “compression” to promote healing after injury. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, it works by applying force around the injured muscle, usually with a light piece of apparel, increasing the blood circulation around it. The extra oxygen around the injury helps it heal more quickly. By sleeping with a weighted blanket on, you’re applying “compression” to your entire body for a few hours, promoting faster muscle recovery.

Choosing the right weighted blanket for recovery

Every body is different, which means the “right” blanket can also vary. For example, you don’t want a heavy blanket that makes sleeping uncomfortable. To this end, choose a weighted blanket that’s around 10% of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should be using a 15-pound blanket. Also, consider the material it’s made out of. If you get cold easily, look into those made out of polyester.

Plus, as a precaution, those who snore or have sleep apnea should avoid using a weighted blanket. The added weight on your chest can disrupt your already uneven breathing. If this applies to you, keep it below your torso while you sleep. Of course, you can still use one when awake as it can cover you while you work or watch TV.
Weighted blankets have much to contribute to your recovery. If you’ve had an intense workout day, tuck yourself in with a weighted blanket for a speedier recovery.

Article credit : Maurice Shelton