How do we look after our muscles?

Written by rebeccah

We have over 600 muscles within our bodies.

Dark blue background with light blue clouds around the borders. Yellow text in the centre reads "how many muscles does the average person have?". Arms with the biceps muscle flexed on either side of the text.

What do our muscles do?

It depends on the type: skeletal, smooth or cardiac.

Skeletal muscles are attached to our bones and help us move around.

Smooth muscle is found throughout our digestive system, blood vessels and in the uterus. These muscles contract in a rhythm to push our food and blood throughout their systems.

Cardiac muscle is found in the heart and keeps our blood pumping around our body.

What can you do to keep our muscles healthy?

Keeping our muscles strong and healthy helps to maintain our fitness and balance, prevent injuries and to keep our organs (such as our heart) healthy.

  • Eat a variety of different foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins, with a focus on foods containing iron (which is important for strength) such as chicken, lean beef, spinach, peas and some breads.
  • Staying active: when we don’t use our muscles they become smaller and weaker. By using them frequently, you maintain and increase their strength! Exercise can including going for a walk, playing a game of soccer, swimming in the pool or dancing around the house. Doing a variety of exercises helps to strengthen many different areas of muscle.
  • Before and after exercise make sure to warm up and cool down with gentle exercises and stretching to prevent injuries.
  • Don’t aim to start with intense exercise straight away. Start small and build up intensity over time to avoid injuries.
  • When lifting heavy objects, whether at the gym, home or at work, use the right technique to avoid hurting your back. Lifting with your legs and avoiding arching your back helps to reduce the risk of developing an injury.

How can a massage therapist help?

If you’re experiencing any pain, aches or tightness in your muscles, or you just want to feel relaxed, visit a massage therapist. They are helpful in reducing tension and increasing flexibility to relieve pain and prevent injuries from occurring.

Make an appointment with one of our lovely massage therapists here or call us on 9651 5559.

Find more of our health tips here.

Sources:

Better Health Vic. 2012. Muscles. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/muscles

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Healthy Muscles Matter. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/kids/healthy-muscles

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