What Are Muscles and How Do They Work?
Your muscles help you with everything you do. From the way that you get out of bed to the way that you cook dinner, your muscles allow you to move through your day. However, muscles are also taking care of movements that you might not think about as well. Here’s what you will want to know.
What Are Muscles?
Muscles are tissues in the body that are designed to contract – hence, they are called contractile tissue. While many people think that they are made out of protein, this is only partly the case. Just as with other organs in the body, muscles are made out of muscle cells that undergo numerous processes in order to allow the muscles to contract and relax.
There are three different kinds of muscles in the body: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. The skeletal muscles are the ones that you’re probably most familiar with because they help the body to move. Cardiac muscles are those that are in your heart, and smooth muscles are those that are in the walls of organs – i.e. in the intestines.
There are also two types of muscles in the body: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary muscles are those that you can control. These would be your arms and your legs, for example – Involuntary muscles are those in your digestive system as well as your heart. These work without any effort from you.
How Do Muscles Work?
Muscles contract and relax through a chemical process. Through the movement of the chemical acting against the chemical myosin, the muscles are able to contract as well as relax. Some muscles require an additional electrical impulse in order to work, while others have neurotransmitters helping to stimulate them into action.
Many times, we are able to control these functions through signals that we send in our brains. However, if you stop to think about it, you don’t have to send signals all the time. Your lung muscles, for example, are both voluntary and involuntary. While you can control the way that you breathe in and out, your body takes over when you are sleeping, for example.
How Do We Maintain Our Muscles?
Just as you would workout your biceps and triceps, you need to make sure that you are using the muscles in your body in order to keep them in proper form. For the heart, you need to exercise in order to keep it beating strong. For the smooth muscles in your organs, you need to eat healthy foods and maintain lower levels of stress in order to keep them functioning properly.
But it’s also a matter of eating a balanced diet and getting enough protein in your body. There are amino acids that help to make up protein, but our bodies cannot produce all of the amino acids that we need. This is why proper food combination or the eating of lean meats is so important. In order to fuel our muscles and allow them to grow and repair, they need the right foods.
Muscles help us move through our lives – shouldn’t we help them help us?