How much margin do you have in your life?
Whether it is with your finances, your time, or your health, having a margin or buffer between what life is requiring and what you are capable of or have access to can be the thing that gives you a true sense of freedom.
The same is true for your muscles and your physical freedom, which we define as being able to do what you want when you want for as long as you want.
For you, this might look like being able to play a round of golf without your back tightening up. Or it might be being able to pick up your grandkids without having to brace yourself as they run up to you. Or it might be being able to go for a long walk on a Saturday afternoon without worrying that your feet are going to hurt.
Whatever it is you want to be able to do in life, your muscles are going to be required in the process.
So how can you build up the margin of your muscles so you have more than enough ability to do everything you want?
Your muscles have three key characteristics that directly impact your ability to do things on a daily basis.
The first is their function. The second is their strength. And the third is their endurance.
Essentially, it’s their ability to do stuff against greater challenges for longer periods of time. The more of this you have, the more ability you have to do the things you want in your life.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the first piece–their function. In subsequent articles we’ll look at the other two pieces – their strength and endurance.
So, let’s talk about the function of your muscles.
When it comes down to it, your muscles are designed to do one main thing–contract.
They squeeze and generate tension, which allows them to pull on your bones to move and stabilize your joints. Yes, they have a lot of great metabolic characteristics that affect the health and function of the rest of our body, but those characteristics are all driven by the muscles contracting. So when we are discussing the function of muscle, we are really looking at how well your muscles can contract.
In order for your muscles to contract, they have to have sufficient signal from your nervous system telling them to contract. Think of this signal like the electricity that is sent to your light bulbs telling them to turn on. If there is disruption in the electrical system of your house, whether it is a circuit breaker that has gone out or wiring that is malfunctioning, the end result is the light bulbs don’t turn on when you flip the switch on your wall.
Even though there is nothing wrong with the bulb itself, it isn’t functioning properly because the input into it isn’t sufficient.
With your muscles, when they aren’t receiving sufficient signal from your nervous system, they won’t contract as well. As a result, your strength diminishes, your mobility decreases, and you often feel tight and achy.
If this goes on long enough, you may start to be in pain. And if you get into a situation where your muscles need to contract a lot but aren’t able to, your joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, discs, and fascia will have to take on more stress and may get injured.
So how do you go about changing this?
One of the easiest ways to change this in your body is to do Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®). The entire process of MAT® is designed to identify where you have muscles that aren’t functioning well because they aren’t receiving enough signal, causing other muscles to have to overwork and other tissues in your body to have to take on more stress.
With MAT®, a trained practitioner can assess your body to show you where these underlying issues are and address them so your muscles can function properly again.
When that happens, your strength improves, your mobility improves, any tightness you are feeling goes away, and your risk for injury decreases significantly.
At Muscle Activation Schaumburg, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of MAT® services in the Chicagoland area. We frequently work with clients who travel from downtown Chicago as well as from neighboring states, in addition to those who are out here with us in the northwest suburbs.
Getting your muscles functioning better is the first step to creating more margin for your muscles, allowing you to continue to do all of the things in life that you enjoy doing the most.
If you would like to schedule a time to have your muscles assessed with MAT®, you can book your initial appointment with us online here.
And, if you’d like to learn more about MAT®, you can download our free 20-page report on it here.
Next, we will discuss the second step of creating margin for your muscles – building your strength. Stay tuned!
In strength and health,
Julie & Charlie