1. Muscles are the driving force behind movement - when contracted they cause movement of a body part from one position to another.
2. Muscles have a very rich blood supply & will heal fatser relative to other tissue such as bone or tendon.
3. Muscles need lots of resources to work efficiently such as oxygen, chemicals & water. Good hydration will precent muscles from becoming stiff & will assist in prevention cramps during exercise.
4. It is not possible to grow more muscle fibres, only to increase the width/thickness of the existing muscles.
5. There are approximately 650 muscles within the body, in comparison there are just over 200 bones in the skeleton.
6. There are 3 different types of muscles:
Skeletal Muscle - help to move the body & work under conscious control
Cardiac Muscle - cause contractions of the heart tissue to pump blood around the body
Smooth Muscle - found all over the body in places like blood vessels & digestive organs
7. The largest muscle in the body is found in the buttocks. The Gluteus maximum is one of the most crucial muscles for walking and maintaining an upright body in standing & during movement.
8. Walking although seemingly a simple task requires over 200 muscles to co-ordinate the activity. This is why it is challenging for new borns or in certain conditions such as stroke for retraining.
9. Within parts of our muscles lie stretch receptors (muscle spindles), which are constantly providing information to our nervous system about where our body is positioned at any one time (proprioception). This is one of the critical components in maintaining balance, therefore keeping strong & healthy muscles helps to minimise the risk of having a fall.
10. Muscles need exercise to stay strong & healthy. Ageing naturally sees a reduction in skeletal muscle mass, however we can slow this process through resistance training.