We’ve been on a widespread tour of the body over the last month and have met a lot of important parts. Today, we venture into new territory, exploring the big picture of an entire system. You have 11 organ systems in your body, such as digestive, skeletal, lymphatic, respiratory, reproductive, and muscular, to name a few. I want you to understand what each system does and how they work very intricately with one another, creating balance in the body. If one is compromised, it is sure to affect another.
Today we take a peek at the Muscular System. The primary goal of muscles is to create movement and control. They attach by tendons to bone and cross joints so that when they shorten or contract, the respective bone moves on the other. Muscles can be large like the quadriceps group or they can be small like the omohyoid in the throat. There are skeletal muscles that are built for endurance to last all day (tonic muscles), and there are muscles that are our sprinters (phasic muscles). Both groups are essential to allow us to perform the tasks that we need to during the day.
Here is where it gets interesting in my practice. I have found clinically that if a muscle that is supposed to hold and support and last a long time, does not do that anymore (maybe due to injury, weakness, pregnancy, surgery etc.), the mover muscles start to become holder muscles. This is where I start to see tension in the shoulders, trouble taking a deep breath, excessive calf or hamstring tension, forearm tendonitis as a few examples. I find this so fascinating that the muscular system needs to remain in balance so that we can perform at our top level.
Additionally, the muscular system affects our body’s metabolism. The better muscle mass you have, the hotter your oven burns. Glucose is absorbed and stored in muscle. Amino acids (protein building blocks) are released when energy is needed, aiding in protein availability throughout the body.
So, what happens when we lose muscle? A lot!!
We can’t move as well or efficiently. We may become injured, we are slower to recover from illness, our wounds heal slower, and we have a lower metabolic rate, so weight gain is greater and energy production is slower.
This is why it is crucial that you take care of your muscles! How? Get moving!
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