Everything You Need to Know About Your Muscles

August 20th, 2018 Orthopedic Associates

Do you know everything you need to know about your muscles? They are a finicky beast, especially in later years of our lives. Requiring near constant maintenance, building and keeping muscle is something we should always be thinking about. However, it needn’t be all work. Here are a few fun facts that might just help you on your fitness journey.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Muscles

Everyone has muscles, even if some are less noticeable than others. But, because everyone has muscles, it’s important that we work to maintain them. Muscles make up quite a bit of your body and, as a result, they make up quite a bit of your orthopedic health. If you’re looking to come see us less often (not that you’d want to do that!), then learning about your muscles might be a good start.

Men should be particularly interested in this, as they are more likely to damage their muscles, but it applies to everyone, of course. Musculature is such a significant part of our makeup that it’s almost necessary to know about it. Without our muscles, where would we even be!

This is How Much Muscle You Are

Did you know that your body is about 40% muscle? If we’re counting by wait, you are a little more than 1 third muscle, because muscle is incredibly heavy. Much heavier than fat, actually. If you’re into exercise at all, you might notice that you lose weight early on, which is good. This is because you’re breaking down whatever fat is on your body, leaving it on the gym floor. After a little bit of weight loss, though, you’ll quickly turn around and start putting pounds back on. Don’t fret, though: it’s not because you’re putting fat back on.

Instead, this is because the fat that you’re burning is starting to be converted into muscle. So, really, gaining weight is probably what you’re looking to do when you hit the gym. Remember, not all weight is bad. It’s too much fat that’s bad. Your body will stop you from gaining muscle when it can’t handle it anymore.

Gaining Muscle is Easy

Speaking of which, you should also know that gaining muscle is pretty easy, at least if you’re comparing it to losing muscle. It takes about twice as long to lose muscle as it takes to build it, assuming no use at all. So if you’ve gone to the gym for a week, those gains should stick with you for about two weeks. This will likely be a little longer, though, as you use your muscles in everyday scenarios.

This is not a reason not to work out, though! Your muscles also learn very quickly, so they’re happy to get used to not doing anything if you let them. “An object in motion stays in motion,” as the saying goes, so it’s best to keep momentum from working out, if you can. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, try to get some form of exercise in. Drop down for a few push ups, or go for a quick walk on your lunch break. Your body will very much appreciate the exercise.

Note that you can’t actually gain muscles, though. You were born with every muscle you’ll ever have, and losing them is incredibly hard. Muscles grow when we exercise because they are rip and repair themselves, slowly getting bigger every time. This means that you and every player in the NFL started from the same position, so there’s some motivation.

The Muscles You Don’t Think About

Beyond exercise, there is a lot of muscle use going on that we don’t think about. You probably know that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, but do you know the exact numbers? It takes 43 to frown, but 17 smile. You might also have heard that your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body, but that’s up for some contention. The other possible strongest msucle, at least for it’s size, is the masseter, in your bottom jaw. It can exert a force of roughly 200 pounds on your teeth.

There is also only one muscle that never stops: the heart. Think about it. Your legs need rest at night, and long days might leave your back useless. Your heart, however, needs to go at all times of night. Built to work in perpetuity, the heart only has ups and downs, highs and lows, never stops and goes. Who knows what would happen if it did?

 

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