Understanding Muscle Development
- Why is muscle development an important part of our whole body well being?
- Why should we seek to keep our muscles functioning correctly?
MUSCLE TISSUE IS DIVIDED INTO THREE TYPES:
- Skeletal Muscle
- Smooth Muscle
All three types, even though they have their unique structure, have the general function of producing force and movement.
Contrary to the popular idea that the brain is a muscle, the fact is that it is not. The only muscle which it contains is smooth muscle located in the blood vessels that supply it whether it be the brain, the spinal cord, or the many nerves that go to the tissues of the body.
Even though the brain is not a muscle, it is very important to develop the brain and it's ability to communicate with the body through exercise as well as nutrition. Brain food including herbal remedies and water can enhance its performance.
LET'S LOOK AT EACH TYPE OF MUSCLE:Skeletal Muscle.
Skeletal muscle is voluntary muscle, meaningthat you are in control via the brain as to what it will do to move the body through it's various activities.
Examples of this type of movement include, but are not limited to:
- Eye Movements in the many directions we can make them move. Focusing the eyes is a skeletal muscle function.
- The tongue can be controlled so we can eat properly - or stick it out.
- Large muscles in the upper and lower extremities such as the biceps, triceps, calf muscles, hamstrings, and quadricep muscles.
- Many small muscles such as those in the fingers and toes which allow for dexterity and controlled movement as when playing the piano or typing on the computer.
- Posture is also controlled by these muscles even though it is maintained through subconscious reflexes.
It is important to develop these muscles in order to keep them healthy and strong so that the functions they perform can be kept at their optimum levels. This is important not only for functioning - but also for enjoying. If our muscles work right we almost never give them a second thought.
THERE ARE TWO PRIMARY TYPES
OF VOLUNTARY MUSCLES IN THE BODY:
- Fast Twitch Fibers, and
- Slow Twitch Fibers.
Fast twitch fibers contract quickly and with more strength or power but they fatigue a lot faster.
Slow twitch fibers contract with less force for longer periods of time and do not fatigue nearly as fast as do fast twitch fibers, thus allowing for endurance.
It is important to work on keeping both types of fibers strong and active with their proper exercises.
Muscle development includes nourishment and exercise. The harmful side effects which can be produced by synthetic enhancers and prescription drugs should be avoided.
Smooth muscle is involuntary, meaning that you don't have to think about it for it to work.
An example of this type of muscle is the muscle that surrounds the blood vessels to allow for vasodialation and vasoconstriction. Another example is the muscle along the digestive tract that pushes the food along in the digestive process. This movement is called perostalisis.
Smooth muscle is also found in the walls of organs, the urinary tract, and even in the skin to allow the erection of body hair.
If smooth muscle gets weak or decreases in its ability to work, the circulatory system and digestive system, as well as many other involuntary functions become impaired.
An example would be incontenance which is experienced by many people as they age. Developing these muscles is extremely important.
Cardiac muscle is only found inthe heart and is an involuntary muscle as well. You don't have to consciously think to make your heart beat.
Cardiac muscle works with the brain and other biochemical responses to either speed up or slow down so that the proper amounts of oxygen and other nutrients can be delivered to the body parts that need themdepending on the current activity that is being performed.
CARDIO VS. STRENGTH TRAINING
Don't think for a minute that
just because we don't have to think about using some muscles that we don't need to develop them.
Muscle development is critical for every muscle in the body.
The exercise for muscle development
in both the Cardiac muscle (the heart) and Smooth muscle
is called cardiovascular exercise - what we call cardio.
The type of exercise
that is important for the muscular development of Skeletal muscle is commonly called strength training.
Both types of
exercise are important. Without them function, strength, and the ability for muscle to work correctly
is compromised. Disease has a better chance of developing, aging is accelerated, and the ability to
do things becomes impaired.
Since there are over 400 unique and individual muscles in the body
and since each is specific in its direction of pull and strength, our responsibility to keep them fit
and see that they develop properly cannot be over emphasized.
We might compare our muscles to a symphony
orchestra with its many instruments who all need to work in harmony in order to make great music.
As there are many exercises suggested on my website, please use wisdom and proper judgment in their
use. If necessary consult a physicial or contact us if you have further questions about them.
You must also evaluate where you are right now - what injuries you have had - what you can handle.
Then adjust or tailor the exercise to you personally. Be aware of what your strengths and limitations
Everyone's body is unique and has different muscular imbalances. This means that different exercises may be needed for different people. Even exercises that are designed specifically for your body could cause damage if done incorrectly.
Both young and old and everyone in between can enjoy the benefits of muscle development. The best way to do this is with exercise. The old adage that
"if you don't use it you lose it" is true. Therefore, what are you waiting for? Get started!
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