Classification of Muscle Tissue
Muscle tissue can either be classified according to its functionality or according to its structure. According to functional classification, there are two types of muscle tissue i.e. Voluntary and Involuntary. While according to structural classification also, it has two types, Striated and Smooth.
By merging these classifications, three types of muscles emerge:
1. Smooth Involuntary (or smooth) muscle: These are found in the walls of the digestive tract, uterus, bladder, blood vessels etc.
2. Striated Voluntary (or skeletal) muscle: These are found in muscular organs such as the biceps.
3. Striated Involuntary (or cardiac) muscle: These are found in the walls of the heart.
Loss of Muscle Tissue
Since our muscles operate as the powerhouse of our bodily functioning, it is extremely important to keep them healthy in order for our body to perform everyday tasks. As we grow older, our bones and muscles gradually start losing their strength. Losing muscle mass is a big threat faced by people as they age. That is because loss of muscle mass translates into loss of physical functioning. This may in turn lead to disability and higher vulnerability to diseases. Therefore, in order to remain independent as well as self sufficient, we need to take good care of our muscles.
According to research, after crossing the mark of 30 years, we start losing half a pound of muscle tissue every year until the age of 50. Once we have crossed 50 years, the rate of muscle loss doubles.
Negative Effects of Muscle Loss
The muscular system in the human body accounts for 50% of the total weight of an individual. Moreover muscle tissue is a highly metabolically active tissue as it consumes lots of energy in order to retain itself. With loss in the muscle tissue, our metabolism rate slows down, which leads to gradual but constant accumulation of additional body fat.
When there is lesser muscle tissue in the body, the bones become brittle. They also become fragile and hence more susceptible to breaking. This is because muscles keep a strong pulling force on the bones where they are attached to them, thus keeping bones strong and tightly held in place. Better toned muscles mean less fragile bones due to this reason.
Taking Care of Muscle Tissue
The following tips can be followed as part of one’s fitness regime in order to retain and increase muscle mass for better body functioning:
- Convert fat into lean muscle with a workout that’s suitable for you. Less fat and more lean muscle keeps daily functioning of the body smooth and prevents loss of strength over time
- Lose fat
- Gain more muscle
- Exercise regularly. Weight training is a great way to build muscle mass
There is a common attitude about putting less importance on exercise as one ages. That is not the right attitude. Strength training can be a great tool for building muscle mass, converting fat into lean muscles and thus keeping bones stronger by improving bone density.
Muscle tissue is an extremely important building block of our body and must be treated with the utmost care!