Exercising Smooth Muscle?

exercise smooth muscle


How Do We Exercise Smooth or Involuntary Muscle?

That is a good question. We know how we can exercise the muscles we have control over, but how do we exercise smooth muscle, or those muscles that work automatically without us ever thinking about it?

Because there is no conscious control when it comes to involuntary muscle:

  • direct exercise of these tissues is not possible
  • it is very important to keep these tissues healthy and working properly.

As always, healthy nutrition including good foods and herbals, reducing stress, keeping the nerves freed up and healthy, and general exercise of the voluntary muscles that we can control, can help us exercise the smooth muscles of our body.


smooth muscle and cardiac muscle

For example:

Cardiovascular exercise, which is conscious, will not only help the overall well being and integrity of the voluntary muscles of the body, but it will also help the involuntary muscles of the heart and blood vessels.

This is why we are concerned about doing our cardio exercises and keeping that heart pumping blood through the blood vessels.

With proper exercise, the cardiovascular system becomes not only healthier, but also more efficient.

This means that it is more capable of delivering the increased needed nutrients and oxygen to every cell of the body when increased demands are made. It also removes metabolic wastes from those same cells.

All of this equates with developing a stronger and more efficient cardiovascular system, both voluntary and involuntary.


The same type of analogies can be applied to other areas of the body which have involuntary smooth muscle, such as:

  • the digestive system
  • the reproductive system
  • the skin
  • the internal organs
  • even the muscles of the iris in the eye

All are benefited by conscious voluntary types of exercise, by proper nutrition, by eliminating things that harm and weaken the body such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs, and by doing all of the other things that make our bodies healthy.

What Controls Involuntary Muscle?

Cardiac muscle is controlled by nerve impulses produced by a natural pacemaker called the sinoatrial node, the rate of which is controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Smooth muscle is primarily controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Many involuntary muscles are controlled by spinal nerve centers with no direct involvement of the brain at all. These muscles react to certain external or internal stimuli when certain thresholds are reached.

Examples of this would be:

  • your hair standing up when you are scared
  • your leg jerking in bed with restless leg syndrome

Hormones, in some cases, influence involuntary muscle (smooth muscle) activity.

Examples of this would be:

  • an adrenaline rush which makes you go harder and faster
  • endorphins being released to relax the muscles and make you feel calm

What Does This Mean?

Basically, this means that when we exercise it not only makes us look good and feel good, but it also strengthens all of our muscles, whether they are voluntary - the ones that we can make move, or smooth muscles, the involuntary ones - the ones that just go on working day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute - and we don't have to do a thing.

Nothing, that is except keep them healthy.

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Spanish Proverb

"Ill-health, of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!"



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