What is Muscle?

Muscle is a type of tissue found in the human body. It contracts to provide movement and stability to the body. Humans have three main types of muscle tissue: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. Each type of muscle tissue has specialized functions and structural components that make them unique.

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle is attached to the skeleton and allows us to move when we want to. Each muscle is made of hundreds to thousands of individual muscle fibers that are wrapped with connective tissue and covered with a protective membrane. When our brains send signals, the individual fibers contract, which causes the entire muscle to move and flex. Examples of skeletal muscles include the biceps, triceps, and pectorals.

Smooth Muscle

Smooth muscle is found within the walls of internal organs, such as the stomach, bladder, and blood vessels. Unlike skeletal muscle, smooth muscle works involuntarily and is not under conscious control. Its main role is to provide stability and keep organs functioning properly. Smooth muscle also helps regulate the movement of substances through the body, such as food through the digestive tract and blood through the vessels.

Cardiac Muscle

Cardiac muscle is found in the walls of the heart. It's responsible for pumping blood and is the only type of muscle in the body that works on its own, without requiring input from the brain. Cardiac muscle works continuously throughout our lifetime, shrinking and expanding to keep our blood circulating.

Benefits of Muscle

Maintaining muscle health is essential for overall health and wellness due to its many benefits. Here are just some of them:

  • Improved circulation: Strong muscle mass improves circulation, allowing more oxygen to reach our organs, tissues, and muscles.
  • Reduced risk of injury: A strong foundation of muscle helps to protect the body from injury, particularly in areas such as the back and neck.
  • Better posture: Strengthening muscles in areas such as the core, back, and shoulders can help improve posture.
  • Better balance: Working on core muscles can help improve balance, making everyday activities safer.
  • Improved mood: Exercise, particularly strength training, can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and lift depression.