Here’s why muscle flexibility is important to your overall health and what you can do about it.
The 3 Types of Muscle
It’s estimated that almost half of the body’s total weight is due to muscle—a soft tissue that aids in organ function as well as overall movement. In the muscular system, muscle tissue is categorized into three distinct types and each has its own structure and role. Cardiac muscle keeps your heart pumping, smooth muscle aids in organ function, and skeletal muscle supports movement.
It's estimated that almost half of the body's total weight is due to muscle—a soft tissue that aids in organ function as well as overall movement. In the muscular system, muscle tissue is categorized into three distinct types and each has its own structure and role.
Cardiac: Cardiac muscle is found only in the myocardium—the middle layer of the heart wall. This muscle contracts and relaxes which allows the heart to beat.
Smooth: Smooth muscle is located in the walls of hollow organs such as the bladder and uterus. Its involuntary contractions and movements allow these organs to contract and relax as needed.
Skeletal: The human body has over 600 skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are attached to your bones and help them move by contracting and relaxing.
Muscle Health Matters
Good overall muscle health allows you to move more easily, decreasing the likelihood of sprains and strains. It also minimizes risk of structural imbalances like spinal misalignments—making it easier for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body—and aids in critical organ function like your heart and lungs.
Easy ways to maintain muscle health include:
- Regular Stretching
- Healthy Diet
- Rich in protein, healthy fats and leafy greens
- Proper Hydration
- Consistent Exercise
- Getting Enough Sleep
Good muscular flexibility is an important part of overall muscle health! It can decrease your risk of physical injury by reducing muscular imbalances. It also minimizes aches and pains—the looser your muscles, the less likely you are to experience tension.
3 Easy Ways to Improve Flexibility
Yoga: Incorporating easy yoga poses into your daily routine can help lengthen and stretch your muscles. Yoga is safe, effective and can be done in the comfort of your home.
Stretching: Before working out or going for a walk, add easy stretches to get your muscles and joints warmed up. Check out our Chiro One infographic on easy stretches you can do at home!
Foam Rolling: Using a foam roller before and after yoga or working out allows you to target specific muscles in your thighs, calves or hips. Keep your muscles warm pre- and post-workout.