The first thing I think of is “suns out, guns out” when I hear the word muscles. Obviously, muscles are so much more important than that! As we head into chillier months ahead, the guns may not be out on display, but they are definitely still working hard. Our muscles support our bodies from head to toe and it is very important to keep them well fueled, hydrated, and moving.
Muscles do everything from pumping blood throughout your body to helping lift heavy objects. You can control some of your muscles while others do their jobs without you thinking about them. Muscles are all made up of the same elastic tissue comprised of thousands of small fibers and there are three types of muscles in the human body: Smooth Muscles, Cardiac Muscles, and Skeletal Muscles.
The 3 Types of Muscles
Smooth Muscles – These can also be referred to as involuntary muscles and are typically in sheets, or layers, with one layer of muscle behind the other. Your brain and body tell these muscles what to do without even thinking about it. You cannot use smooth muscles to pump iron or jump around.
Cardiac Muscles – This is the muscle that makes up the heart, also known as the myocardium. Just like smooth muscles, the cardiac muscle works on its own. It has a special group of cells that controls the heartbeat. The thick muscles of the heart contract to pump blood out and then relax to let the blood back in after circulating throughout the body.
Skeletal Muscles – These muscles come in all different shapes and sizes. Skeletal muscles are voluntary muscles, meaning you can control what they do. They work with your bones to give your body power, strength, and motion…. the pumping iron kind of muscles! Facial muscles fall into this category, but they do not connect the same as your typical skeletal muscles. Instead, many of them attach under the skin. This allows you to contract your facial muscles just a tiny bit to make different movements in your facial expressions.
How do we maintain all of these amazing muscles?
Healthy Diet – Emphasis should be on real foods, not processed. Fruits, vegetables, and proteins are important as well as healthy grains and fats. Stay away from refined sugars and heavily salted items. The choices we make impact our bodies greatly. Healthy Choices = Healthy Bodies
Hydration – Water is always the best form of hydration. The 8×8 rule of thumb is the minimum amount of water you need to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Physical Activity – Get at least 60 minutes of activity per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once; however, 10 minutes at a crack would be the minimum recommendation. Physical activity can include the gym and outdoor activities as well as household chores and even shopping.
5 Surprisingly Awesome Facts About Your Muscles
- The tongue is a muscle that’s attached only at one end! Your tongue is actually made of a group of muscles that work together to allow you to talk and help you chew food.
- It takes 17 muscles in the face for us to smile and 43 muscles to frown.
- The smallest muscles of the human body are present in the inner ear. Tensor Tympani and Stapedius are two muscles present in the inner ear that connect to the eardrum.
- The busiest muscles in humans are the eye muscles. Eyes have to move continuously with the help of extraocular muscles in order to keep a sharp vision, focus, and clear vision.
- Hypnic jerks occur when a person is about to fall asleep, are induced by muscles. A hypnic jerk is an involuntary movement that occurs during sleep and at times can suddenly wake a person from their sleep.