What Are Muscles and What Do They Do?
Muscles pull on the joints, allowing us to move. They also help the body do such things as chewing food and then moving it through the digestive system.
Even when we sit perfectly still, muscles throughout the body are constantly moving. Muscles help the heart beat, the chest rise and fall during breathing, and blood vessels regulate the pressure and flow of blood. When we smile and talk, muscles help us communicate, and when we exercise, they help us stay physically fit and healthy.
Humans have three different kinds of muscle:
- Skeletal muscle.
- Smooth, or involuntary muscle.
- Cardiac muscle.
The movements your muscles make are coordinated and controlled by the brain and nervous system. The involuntary muscles are controlled by structures deep within the brain and the upper part of the spinal cord called the brain stem. The voluntary muscles are regulated by the parts of the brain known as the cerebral motor cortex and the cerebellum.