Interesting Facts About Muscles: They Make Up 40% Of Your Total Body Weight

Muscles are talked about quite a bit in the health and wellness community. And for good reason: muscles help us move, they help us function, and the more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. But what else do we know about muscles?
There are more than 600 muscles in the body, doing everything from pumping blood to moving food through the intestines, to helping lift heavy objects (like backpacks). Some of these muscles can be controlled, and others like the heart and intestines do their jobs without having to think about it.
All muscles are made of basically the same material, very elastic (like rubber bands), and made up of thousands of tiny fibers. There are three different kinds of muscle – smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscle. Here are interesting facts you might not have heard about muscles and how they impact the body.
1. Skeletal muscles (or striated) are voluntary muscles that control nearly every action a person intentionally performs. Tendons attach the muscle to two bones across a joint, as one muscle contracts the other relaxes which moves the bones.
2. Muscles cannot push, they can only pull. The reason the arm can push is muscles in the back of the arm pulling on the elbow!
3. Muscle memory is created by practising an action over and over again. Our muscles fine tune themselves, becoming more precise and exact in what they do. So practice is very important when learning a sport!
4. Smooth muscle (or visceral) is involuntary, its not controlled by our conscious mind. It is found on the walls of many organs and structures such as the esophagus, stomach, intestines, bladder, and blood vessels. Smooth muscles contract to move substances such as food through the organ.
5. Your eye muscles move more than 100,000 times a day. Most of these rapid eye movements take place during the dreaming phase of sleep.
6. Muscles make up 40% of your total body weight. In fact, muscles are the most dense thing in your body. Also, muscle weighs more than fat. Typically, when people start to work out, they lose weight at the beginning (losing fat), but then start to gain weight (muscle).
7. Muscles are built during sleep. Sure, when you go to the gym and lift weights you are working towards muscle strength. But it is during sleep that muscles actually grow. When you are in deep sleep mode, all those hardworking muscles of your can finally relax, allowing more blood circulation. In addition, hormones are released during sleep that contribute to the repair and restoration of tissues, which is crucial to new muscle tissue formation.
8. The smallest muscles are found in the middle ear. The same is true with the smallest bones. These small muscles, including the tensor tympani and the Stapedius, may be small, but they are very important. They are what is responsible for connecting to the ear drum and holding your ear together.
9. The only muscle that never tires is our heart. Just think about it, it never stops working. The average human heart beats from 60-100 times per minute. Through your sleep, through your workouts, through your showers, through everything. It’s a good thing your heart doesn’t tire, because we’d all get pretty sore pretty fast!
10. To take one step, you use 200 muscles. The average amount of steps a person takes each day is 10,000. That’s a lot of work for those 200 muscles.  So next time you’re off for a walk, remember the hard work that’s being put in. Looks like a nap isn’t sounding too ridiculous after all!
11. Humans are born with all the muscle fibers they will ever have. Muscle fiber doesn’t just “grow” randomly throughout your body. That means that we have the same amount of muscle fibers as Arnold Schwarzenegger!  It is possible for it to get thicker, like Mr. Schwarzenegger, which is what happens when we work out. The work out will tear the muscle down and it will get thicker, causing muscles to get bigger and stronger.

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