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I like to move it, move it!

Our muscles are always working. We use them to pump blood around our body, to kick a football and even pick up a glass of milk! Our muscles power all our body’s movements.

Did you know that each muscle can either push or pull? So, to help us move in many ways, our muscles need to pair up and work together, just as we do to win a basketball match!

Many muscles

When we are fit and healthy our muscles comprise about two-fifth of our body weight. According to most sources, there are as many as 650 muscles in our body. We have three major kinds of muscles based on where they are and what they do. Our superficial muscles are located under our skin. Below these are our deep muscles.

Skeletal muscles

These get their name from the fact that they are muscles that are joined at each end to the bones of our skeleton! These are the muscles we talk about when we want to show how strong we are, when we want to dunk that basketball or swim a fast length! Basically these muscles help us move. As the muscles shorten or contract, they pull the bones causing movement.

These muscles move voluntarily – that means they move when we want them to. For example, our hands won’t move to catch a ball unless we want them too. These muscles come in different shapes and sizes, and help us in many ways. The muscles on our back and neck help us sit upright. The muscles on our legs and arms help us walk, run, lift and push things.

Our skeletal muscles are attached to the bones with the help of tendons. Tendons are like cords that work as connectors!

All muscles have bundles of long muscle fibres, that are thinner than hairs, wrapped together.

Muscle teams

Our muscles work in teams or pairs to make different movements. For example, our biceps work with our triceps. The biceps pull to bend the elbow, while the triceps pulls the other way.

Heart or cardiac muscles

Our heart is largely made up of muscles! These muscles contract to PUSH the blood out and then relax to let the blood back in. These muscles keep moving without us really knowing it or making them do so, unlike our skeletal muscles. 

Involuntary muscles

These are muscles that we don’t control – they work involuntarily. That means the brain controls the muscles without us having to think about them. These are also called smooth muscles.

These muscles are found all over our body. They are found within our blood vessel walls, our digestive system, our lungs, the urinary bladder and even our eyes. These muscles help our food makes its journey, they help us hold our pee, and they help us breathe.  

Our eyelid muscles are one of the fastest moving muscles.

The tiniest muscle is found in the ear, just like the tiniest bone! The largest muscle is in the buttocks (bottom) and is called the gluteus maximus.

Our tongue is also a muscle!

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It is not what we know that is important today, but what we do with it! It is our ability to analyze, think out of the box, ideate and create. We need creativity to get on with our lives. Finding that next tagline, strategy or product at work or resolving a tussle at home or even finding a quick fix to a leaking pipe!

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