So what is a typical muscle programmer for?

The body of any IT specialist, who now spends most of his time in a sitting-lying state, is no different from the body of any person and has evolved under the influence of movement and is designed for movement. The whole history of human development is connected with movement, our ancestors survived using movement in order to get food and escape from dangers. Recently, a person has become much less moving. What will happen next? Will we become like aliens with a huge head and a small carcass?

Most see exercise as a punishment for eating extra calories.
Most see exercise as a punishment for eating extra calories.

We are moving systems

Another ancient said: “Movement is life, and life is movement!”. Our bodies are not designed to exist in conditions of hypodynamia, a state of reduced physical activity, this is not physiological for a person. Any prolonged static load, forced posture can have a negative effect on the body (“numb” the neck, back pain, “wedge” the lower back, etc.). Look at what happens to people who are unable to move, their muscles atrophy, joint mobility is limited, and the functioning of the body is disrupted. After immobilizing the leg in a cast for a couple of months, the volume of muscle tissue decreases in size, and the immobilized joint will need to be developed in order to return the range of motion.

Our muscles are designed as pumps that help pump blood around the body, supplying the internal organs with blood. During exercise, the movement of blood is activated, which ensures the flow of oxygen and nutrients and the removal of decay products from the cell. These normally functioning cells make up your tissues and organs, which are functioning as they should, which is what determines your health. By definition World Health Organizationhealth is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and is not merely characterized by the absence of any disease or infirmity.

Let’s understand what is movement?

Sometimes I hear from those who want to lose weight that they are not ready to increase physical activity, do exercises, do workouts: “Can I eat less, but I won’t do physical education?”, “It’s hard and difficult for me to do all these movements, I’ll starve better.” This attitude to physical activity is wrong, I will try to explain why physical activity is needed in principle, and especially when losing weight.

How efficient we got the body!  More than an hour of sports, and calories burned in the equivalent of about 100 g of cookies!
How efficient we got the body! More than an hour of sports, and calories burned in the equivalent of about 100 g of cookies!

Think about how our body moves.

A change in the length of the muscles leads to the movement of the bones relative to each other, thus movement occurs.

Schematic representation of muscle contraction
Schematic representation of muscle contraction

Inside the muscle cell are myofibrils, consisting of actin and myosin filaments. Muscle contraction with a change in its length occurs as a result of sliding of actin and myosin filaments relative to each other (Huxley’s theory of sliding of actin and myosin filaments) (H. Huxley, A. Huxley and other scientists in 1954). After receiving a neuromuscular impulse in the presence of calcium, numerous myosin heads of myosin filaments cling to actin filaments, forming myosin bridges, and pull the actin filament towards them.

Scheme of attachment of the myosin head to the actin filament troponin protein in the presence of released calcium
Scheme of attachment of the myosin head to the actin filament troponin protein in the presence of released calcium

Technically, a stroke-type movement occurs when myosin heads move along actin filaments, causing a change in the length of myofibrils. Thus, the muscle contracts and the bones move relative to each other. Imagine billions of little rowers rowing boats of myosin, clinging to actin filaments just to make you bend your arm. And the strength of your muscles can only depend on the number of rowers hooked, and the speed of muscle contraction on how fast your rowers can hook on, creating myosin bridges.

To perform this work, energy is required, which is contained in the high-energy bond of the Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecule. ATP is a nucleotide that supplies energy for the biochemical processes of the cell. The splitting of the ATP molecule occurs, and the released energy is spent on the stroke of the myosin head. The spent ATP is immediately restored by the synthesis of a new molecule of the same kind, which will be ready to release energy again for the next “rower”.

Schematic structure of mitochondria
Schematic structure of mitochondria

Inside the muscle cell there are mitochondria – organelles that, in the presence of oxygen, oxidize the organic compounds stored in the muscle cell. In the process of oxidation in mitochondria, ATP molecules are formed, which are spent on energy production. To ensure all these biochemical reactions that occur in your numerous cells, the supply of oxygen, glucose, water and the removal of decay products from the cell is required.

This is a very simplified diagram of what happens inside the cells when you want to, for example, just bend your little finger. We turn the energy of chemical bonds into the energy of physical movement. Just think how complex and large a chemical laboratory is constantly working inside your body!

Performing any movement, a super efficient laboratory works inside your body.
Performing any movement, a super efficient laboratory works inside your body.

Muscle contraction is produced by muscle fibers and depends on:

· fiber thickness. The thicker the fibers, the greater the force.

· On how fast and how many bridges link. The faster and more bridges interlock with each other during contraction, the greater the rate of contraction.

· The speed of the transmitted signal from the nerve cell to the muscle cell and on the number of recruited, connected to work, muscle cells.

Consciously, with our lifestyle, physical activity, training, nutrition, we can influence three components inside our muscles:

· The number and size of muscle fibers.

We train, we get amino acids from protein – “building blocks” for cells, muscle fibers grow, increasing in size and quantity, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of muscle fibers occur, which provide strength and speed to our muscles.

The number of mitochondria.

Imagine that mitochondria are fish in an aquarium, if you create optimal conditions for them: feed them, supply oxygen (walk in the fresh air and increase blood circulation through physical activity), train them – they multiply and grow. As soon as you cut down on food, limit the access of oxygen, as you move little, do “acidifying” training without recovery – your mitochondrial fish die. Mitochondria provide endurance during physical work by producing ATP to contract muscle fibers.

· On the ability to include a certain number of motor units (one nerve connected to a certain number of muscle cells), the connection of VPDE – high-threshold motor units and better coordination among themselves in the work of muscles of agonists, synergists, antagonists.

This affects the strength and speed of movement. They heard stories about grandmothers carrying a heavy chest out of a burning hut, mothers lifting cars that crushed their children. This is just the inclusion of high-threshold motor units under the influence of stress. Athlete weightlifters specifically train these aspects of motor activity and are capable of lifting heavy weights.

Any training is a way to influence the internal environment of the body.

Physical education is not just “wasting calories”, “working off what you have eaten”, “serving a duty” in retaliation for excess food eaten. Physical activity changes the morphology of your body. In response to physical activity, the body triggers adaptation mechanisms, strengthening myofibrils, muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia develops (an increase in muscle cells in size and quantity), the number of mitochondria in muscle cells increases, which leads to an increase in the overall endurance of the body, you become stronger and faster, if you train VPDE. At the same time, blood circulation improves and, as a result, trophism (nutrition) of the cells, tissues and organs of your body improves. So look at physical activity from this position when you come to the gym.

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