Muscles are very important for us. They enable us to be active and provide us with strength. We all look to get stronger muscles as we all need healthy muscles to move, walk, work and even smile. The heart is the strongest muscle of the body which pumps blood to all the body parts. Chest muscles help us to breathe. Stomach muscles enable us to digest our food and eye muscles let us look around and see our surroundings.

Without muscles, no one can survive. They produce almost all movements in the body by becoming shorter and pulling the bones to which they are attached. Not only they enable us to move our bodies but also help our internal organs to work properly. There are a few ways to make our muscles stronger and flexible. These include:

Whole carbohydrates: All carbohydrates are not created equal. They are often referred to as whole and refined carbs. Whole carbohydrates are unprocessed and contain fibre naturally in the food. Refined carbs are processed carbs and the natural fibre is stripped out of them. Whole carbs are healthy carbs which include vegetables, whole fruits, tubers (potato and sweet potato), nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. These whole food sources of carbohydrates are loaded with nutrients and fibre. Eating them is linked to improved muscle health. They are protein sparing which means the body looks to glycogen for energy instead of breaking down muscle tissue for energy. Stored glycogen directly promotes muscle gain. The more good carbs you eat regularly, the higher your average glycogen stores and muscle growth rates will be.

Healthy fats: Not all fats are bad for you. There are many good fats for building muscle. These include avocados, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, grass-fed cow milk and other dairy products. These whole foods are rich source of good fats which play an essential role in building muscles.

Protein-rich food: Eating protein regularly can keep muscles strong and flexible. The nutrient is needed to build up, maintain and replace tissues. Foods like meat, eggs, nuts, seafood, seeds, legumes and dry beans contain good amount of protein. A high-protein diet is needed to support and build muscle mass. Proteins basically consist of various essential and semi-essential amino acids which are essential muscle building component. The recommended daily protein intake is two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Exercise: During exercise, large muscle movement takes place. It helps our muscles to use oxygen. The number of blood cells in our body increase when we exercise and perform repetitive activity. It helps carry oxygen to all the tissues and organs making the muscles stronger. The exercise regimen should include all major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulder and arms.

Every human being has almost 620 muscles that it uses for its movement. Though regular exercise and eating properly including healthy carbs, good fats and quality protein will help you keep your muscles healthy.

If you suffer some muscle injury then take a break from physical activity and take adequate rest. Keep the affected part elevated. It may reduce swelling. You can also apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. A compression bandage may also help reduce swelling. If the muscle injury is serious and you feel extreme pain or swelling, see your doctor at soon as possible.