Did you know that you have more than 650 different muscles in your body? Those muscles help protect your organs and make your movements possible. With any movement your body makes, muscles are contracting and relaxing to make your body move. That is just one reason you want to keep your muscles healthy so you avoid problems such as muscle atrophy, spasms, frequent injuries, pain and inflammation. Use these tips to have better muscle health in your back, legs and all over!
Each of your 650 muscles connect in some way to the bones in your body and are responsible for your everyday movements. Even blinking requires the use of muscles. When you want to move a body part in a certain way, you have billions of nerves communicating in your body. Electrical impulses will be sent from nerve to nerve from your brain until it reaches the area of your body that you want to move. The muscles in that part of your body will contract or relax, moving your limbs. This process happens instantaneously; so fast that you may not even realize communication happened between your brain, nerves and muscles.
Every movement you make involves muscles working in harmony with signals from your brain. That even includes breathing. Some muscle movement is involuntary, just like your heart beats without you having to consciously regulate that beat. Other movements are ones you decide to make. Your many muscles will connect to the bones in your body. Attached to those bones are connective tissues called tendons and ligaments that are tougher than your muscles, but not as tough as bones. Those connective tissues protect and help your muscles to move. However, you have to be exercising and moving enough to have good muscle health. A lack of activity will cause you to have poor health, as will chronic conditions, certain medications, your nutrition and more.
Do you know what a diet full of the 6 essential nutrients looks like? The human body needs specific nutrients in order to function, build and repair tissues properly. On a daily basis, you need protein, healthy fats, healthy carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals. Fats, carbs and proteins will be your body’s energy source to perform all processes. Because your body burns water with those processes (and is more than halfway made of water), you need at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Your body also needs vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K, etc.) and minerals (magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphate, etc.) from your foods each day to run body processes and build specific cells.
Without these things—which your body can’t make on its own—you will suffer from poor muscle health and overall health. You may experience everyday health issues such as headaches, migraines, digestive issues, aches and pains, dizziness, fatigue and more. Over time, a lack of proper nutrients leads to chronic conditions, diseases, faster aging, frequent illness, muscle atrophy and more.
Protein is an essential nutrient that you need to have if you want good (or better) muscle health. That is why you see so many protein products on the market being advertised for fitness enthusiasts. Protein helps your brain, your body and especially your muscles to build and repair cells properly. When you exercise, you are actually breaking down muscle proteins in your body. As those proteins break, your body will rebuild the area with even more proteins, growing more muscle.
Studies show that you get better muscle health and growth when you synthesize more protein than what you’re breaking down. That is why you need lots of protein in your diet each day to have good muscle health (because you used muscles non-stop all day). Sedentary (meaning non-active) males need at least 56 grams of protein to replace their cells each day. Women who are sedentary need at least 46 grams of protein. Active athletes (or those who exercise) should aim for 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. You may have to calculate your own weight percentage online to convert it from kilograms to pounds.
Besides getting good protein in your diet, make sure you get plenty of your other 5 nutrients. Cut out added sugars, processed and greasy foods, as these provide you with empty, nutrient-poor calories that will actually harm your muscle health. For proper muscle repair and growth, get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Follow the American Heart Association’s recommendation to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week or more. That’s only about 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days of the week. Take your exercise slow at first and build up slowly to more and more weight, or to longer workouts to avoid muscle injuries.
It can be hard to know how to keep every single part of your body healthy, which is why you enlist the help of a professional. If you have issues with your muscle health, we have some type of rehabilitative therapy that can help you. Vibration therapy helps maintain or build muscle health in both the very active and those who can’t exercise. Chiropractic care realigns the joints and bones of the body so that muscles don’t have uneven pressure or stress on them.
Massage therapy and trigger-point therapy can release knots and areas of injury in your body to promote healing, range-of-motion and flexibility. These are just a few examples of some therapies that can help promote better muscle health. To learn about all of our therapies or to have your free consultation, call Back2Health today at (843) 405-0025!