For more information about the understandings, essential
questions, and alignment of this lesson to National Health Education Standards,
State Standards, please visit our website, www.roadoflife.org
Ask students to define muscle or the muscular system.If students are having trouble defining the
terms, ask students to describe the function of a muscle.What does a muscle help us do?The muscular system includes all of the
muscles in the body and muscles are bundles of cells and fibers that work by
tightening up (contracting) and relaxing.Explain to the students that there are over 600 muscles in the body. Muscles function to move the body.There are three main types of muscles; Smooth
Muscles, Cardiac Muscles, and Skeletal Muscles.
Smooth Muscles are involuntary muscles that work all the time
without intentional thought or without a choice.Smooth muscles are found in the stomach,
bladder, and eyes.Explain to students
that muscles in the stomach help to digest food after it has been
swallowed.Also, when someone is feeling
sick, these same muscles aid in throwing up.In the bladder, muscles relax to hold in urine and contract to push the
urine out.Blinking muscles in the eye
help to protect the eye, keep the eye moisturized, and clear pollutants from
The cardiac muscle also known as the heart is an involuntary
muscle.The heart contracts as blood is
pumped through the circulatory system and relaxes to allow blood back to the
Skeletal muscles are voluntary muscles.These muscles carry out pre-conceived or
intentional actions.For instance, in order
to move a hand, the brain processes the thoughts about moving the hand and
sends signals to the hand to move.The
hand in return moves.This is
accomplished by tendons that attach the muscle to the bone.This muscle, bone and tendon group pulls to
cause movement.In fact, muscles usually
work in pairs to pull and relax.For
instance, to bend the arm, the bicep muscle pulls and the tricep muscle
relaxes.In contrast, extending the arm
or making it straight requires the tricep muscle to pull and the bicep muscle
to relax.Some examples of skeletal
muscles include pecs, deltoids, and quadriceps.
Brainstorm with students the meaning of flexible and the
purpose of stretching.Explain that
flexible means capable of being bent or twisted without being injured. Explain
to students muscles must move to remain healthy and functional.When muscles are not used, they lose their
ability to contract and perform as they were intended.They may become weak or they may become
tight, and when eventually used, be painful.Stretching is significant because it provides a workout for your muscles
and enables muscles to become flexible when doing physical activity.
Ask students when they should stretch.Stretching should be done before and after
exercise also explain that it is good to stretch at any time of the day.Stretching can be done in the morning when
you wake up, while you watch TV, during breaks at school or any other time. The
more you stretch, the more flexible you will become.
Explain that students should stretch before doing a high-energy
activity. High-energy activities work your muscles, and your muscles are more
likely to get strained or injured when they are working hard. Stretching makes
it easier for a person to bend and flex the body without sustaining an injury.
Review the benefits of stretching:
makes muscles more flexible. Flexible muscles are less likely to become
strained or injured.
flexible increases agility which improves the performance.Physical activities that require
bending and moving, like sports, dancing, martial arts and even everyday
things like chores are better accomplished after becoming more flexible.
helps to relieve stress. Stretching can reduce anxious and nervous
feelings.Stretching and breathing
helps with concentration and relaxation.
uses energy from your body without causing sweat. Therefore, stretching
is possible in any setting or environment, and can be done in any and all
attire.Stretching does not
require any special equipment and can be done for short or long periods
can make tight muscles feel better. If muscles are tight, light
stretching can loosen them.
To cultivate interest in stretching, flexibility and muscle
types, students will participate in a stretching routine and a scavenger hunt.
Emphasize that stretching can be accomplished at anytime but it is important to
stretch before and after physical activity and exercising.