How your muscles affect your mental health

You are probably underestimating your muscles. In fact, almost everyone does. While everyone knows, for example, that muscle is important Function-Activities like walking, climbing and lifting – few people appreciate how important muscles are Feeling.

If you haven’t noticed this mood and muscle connection yourself, take heart; It’s just a recent discovery. Surprisingly, the entire scientific community remained in the dark until about 2003 (1) when a team of researchers in Copenhagen reported a remarkable discovery: muscles at work secrete tiny chemical messengers called myokines that exert powerful effects on physiology, including brain function ( 2).

Through the actions of myokines, muscle tissue communicates directly with the brain about its activity, which leads to a series of biological responses that improve memoryand learning and mood (see Figure 1 below). This newly discovered mechanism suggests that a person who engages in physical activities that build and maintain healthy muscle tissue can expect to enjoy a range of cognitive and mental health benefits. Recent clinical trials show precisely this effect (3).

Thomas Routledge

Source: Thomas Routledge

If anyone accuses you of being complicated, they have no idea. Although you can’t tell by looking in the mirror, the body you see as a reflex is made up of more than 100 trillion cells. The cells are small. If you put the cells side by side in a dash row, for example, about 200 of them will fit in one millimeter.

But this is just the beginning of the miracle we call you. Every cell in your body is a thriving civilization in its own right, populated by hundreds of millions of proteins and other molecules, each possessing a work ethic that would set John Henry in Shame. At our size, your cellular citizens fly at the speed of combat aircraft, each busy completing hundreds or even thousands of life-sustaining jobs per second. They must maintain this frantic pace uninterrupted in order to survive, with a total of billions of trillions of meticulously performed chemical activities every day.

If you somehow own a superhuman imagination Able to visualize this cellular cacophony, you can ask a question: What powers all this? Remarkably, the enormous energy required to run your cells ultimately comes from the oxygen you breathe and the food you consume.

It seems important to remember the latter the next time you don’t feel like eating vegetables. When digested to the smallest fraction, nutrients are converted by mitochondria – arguably the important citizens of your cells – into billions of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules per minute. Although a normal cell may have thousands of energy-producing mitochondria, muscle cells are bee mitochondria, possessing tens or even hundreds of thousands to power their processes. Once you make it, your cells feed on ATP like grueling runners devouring PowerBars at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

You’re almost impossible to get out of this molecular mess. Every thought, feeling, and action results from and depends on this continuous cycle of energy demand and energy production. And if it isn’t clear from this description, the better your cells function at the small level, the better you will feel and function at the larger level.

This brings us back to resistance training. Given the vital roles your muscles play in energy production and brain function, perhaps it’s time to start appreciating resistance training and muscle building as beneficial to more than athletes and magazine models.

Using your muscles against resistance, for example, is much more effective for strengthening your bones than any calcium supplement (4). Regular muscle activity also improves insulin resistance (the cause of diabetes and many other metabolic conditions) better than any prescribed medication.

We now know that stimulating muscle tissue with resistance training has emotional effects that are comparable to traditional ones Antidepressants and psychological treatments (3). Recently Neurology He suggests that we developed brains for one main reason: to move (5). Counterintuitive to our traditional preoccupation with thinking, the primary function of the human brain is to coordinate complex movement (maybe that’s why we have brains while giant redwoods don’t but stationary).

Recognizing this intimate relationship between the brain and movement, the biological basis of the mind-muscle relationship becomes clear, and the importance of resistance training for optimal physical and emotional health has become undisputed.

Thomas Routledge

Source: Thomas Routledge

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