Everything you need to know about looking after your muscles
The human body is home to around 600 muscles and they are responsible for a lot of different functions, from pumping blood around your body to helping you lift your bags of shopping. But if you regularly exercise and enjoy working out then you are likely to use the same muscles over and over again. For many of the muscles in our body, they operate without us controlling it and we don’t even have to think about it. But for other muscles that are likely getting overused, it is important that we take care of them wherever possible.
So, we have put together this guide on everything you need to know about looking after your muscles, including why it is crucial that you look after them, the different muscles that our bodies have, and the muscle recovery equipment which makes caring for our muscles a whole lot easier.
Why is it important to look after your muscles?
Our bodies have a muscular system that works alongside our bones to help us produce wide ranges of movement. From digesting our food, to blood circulation, and even breathing, we rely on our muscles to stay alive. Therefore, it is crucial that you take the time to ensure that they are cared for effectively. We rely on our muscle strength all day every day to support our bodies and to avoid any accidents or falls that can lead to damage of the muscles or other parts of our body.
Having strong muscles can also be beneficial when relieving some of the symptoms that can arise due to chronic illnesses, such as osteoarthritis and diabetes. Therefore, by learning how to both properly use our muscles and also how to effectively care for them while in recovery, you can avoid injury when trying to exercise and keep fit.
The muscular system makes up around 40 percent of your overall body weight and our muscles are divided up into three different types. The smooth muscles are the ones that we largely have no control over, and those guys just get to work without us even thinking about it. These are the muscles in your blood vessels to keep your blood circulation, the muscles in your gut that help you digest your food, and any other area of the body that you don’t need to think about in order for them to function.
Cardiac muscles are those that are in your heart and keep your blood pumping. Many people do not know that the heart is a muscle and is another type that works involuntary. The muscles in your heart respond to what kind of activity you are doing, so will slow down if you are sitting down but will pump faster if you are exercise and thus your skeletal muscles need more blood to be pumped to them in order to do their job.
Skeletal muscles are the muscles that we have most control over and are connected to tendons in the body. These are the muscles that cause us pain if we over-use them or use them in an incorrect way. Your muscles move your body, which is why we rely on them so much and how they can become damaged during an intense workout. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time to look after them.
Muscles usually work in pairs
It is important to know that muscles usually work in pairs so when one is shortened, the other corresponding muscle is longer. A good example of this is when you are doing bicep curls. During the bicep curl, your bicep is shorter, yet your tricep on the other side of your arm is straightened and therefore longer. So be sure to take care of both muscles in the pair during muscle recovery activities.
Food can aid muscle health
While there are many muscle recovery activities that you can engage in to help look after your muscles, you can also use your diet as a way to keep them healthy. The food you eat has a huge impact on your body and your muscles are no different. Through eating the right foods, you can help your muscles to repair themselves, function properly, and also make them stronger.
To do this we recommend that you include protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats in your diet to help them replenish what is lost in heavy workouts. While carbohydrates are needed to fuel physical activities, they also promote insulin release which means your muscles can build new tissue.
While this may seem pretty obvious, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your muscle health. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym 7 days a week in order to see results. Any form of exercise that involves your body working against gravity will help you to build muscle, but you must be consistent as you will lose the muscle you have built if you stop suddenly.
Muscle recovery equipment
Thanks to technological advancements and more research in how we can best take care of our muscles, there are pieces of innovative muscle recovery equipment that can make looking after your muscles easier and faster.
If you are someone who loves to keep fit, engage in exercise, and push themselves hard in the gym, then it is even more important that you look after your muscles. The most common causes of muscle injury are muscle overuse or misuse. So, you should never head into a gym or to a workout session without knowing exactly what you are doing.
Muscle recovery equipment can help both before and after a workout. For example, by using a vibrating foam roller before you hit the gym, you can prepare your muscles for the workout ahead of them. But at the same time if you have just had an intense workout session at the gym, then you can use the vibration technology of the Pulseroll foam roller to increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles when they need it most to help their recovery. Failing to do this could cause serious and permanent damage to your muscles and cause you a significant amount of pain and discomfort.
By taking care of your muscles, you can stay fit and healthy, and enjoy regular exercise without the dreaded ache and discomfort that can often come the day after a workout.