Muscles aren’t just for exhibition by the guy wanting to impress the gals working out near him in the gym, or to win a competitor the designation of having the most defined, muscular build in a body-building contest. Muscles have a more important function for us than just “how good they make you look.” Just what exactly is a muscle? A muscle is a combination of fibers and cells.
The human body holds more than a whopping 650 muscles within its skeletal structure. Each muscle has a different function within our body. Some functions are on “auto-pilot” and occur without us having to think about or do anything to make it happen. Some auto-pilot muscle functions would be the blinking of the eyes, breathing, sneezing, digestion, wound-healing and cell repair, vision, hearing, and the pumping of blood through the heart, and its cardiac rhythm.
Muscles have a function in keeping the central-nervous and immune systems operating at their best. The functioning of these systems are also auto pilot functions that most of us never even think about unless we become ill and then we wonder why we fell prey to sickness. The central-nervous system has the important role of transmitting signals to the brain for smooth operation, and muscles send sensory signals to the central-nervous system for transmission and interpretation by the brain. The immune system is the “command center” for the red/white blood cells that join in growing numbers to battle germs and bacteria that invade our bodies before they can make us sick.
Muscles facilitate our movements. Without muscles we would find it impossible to stand with balance and control, or have the power to propel ourselves forward such as with walking, reaching for and retrieving items from above would be hampered and pose a danger of something falling onto and hurting us. If fact, people with diseases that “debilitate” the muscles will often develop problems with standing, walking, reaching overhead, lifting, and sometimes even with being able to feed themselves.
Muscles have a metabolic function in that they increase the body’s metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate by the way is how fat is burned-off, instead of being stored by the body. Do you want to “unpack” fat weight? Pack on muscle weight by increasing the size of the cells within your muscles and “fat weight” will disappear, pound per pound, per centimeter of muscle mass gained!
Neck muscles allow us to lift our heads up from the body and also prevent the neck from being injured by such movements. Arm muscles such as the biceps and triceps provide the strength needed for reaching, lifting, pulling, and pushing. Our hand muscles allow us to “grasp” items, and movement, and flexibility of the fingers is what enables us to use writing and eating utensils. Abdominal muscles help us to bend and are also used when rising from a sitting or lying position to a standing position. Back muscles help us to stand upright and also offer protection for the spine from minor bumps to the body such as in play. Leg muscles help us control balance when standing, walk, bend our knees, and even to help “push” blood along to reach our feet. The list of various muscles and their functions is of course quite lengthy with a whopping 650 of them on the list!
Muscles truly are a remarkable work of nature in all the functions they perform within the human body.