Age Recommendation: 10+
Have you ever gone to the doctor and seen him use his stethoscope? You may have wondered what he was listening to. The answer is simple: your heart! Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body and making sure it’s healthy is a key part of keeping you healthy. To understand why the heart is so important, you need to understand what it does. This is where one of your many body systems comes into play: the circulatory system.
What Is the Circulatory System?
The circulatory system is one of many body systems your body has that helps you function and stay healthy. The circulatory system consists of your heart, blood, and blood vessels. Its main job is to carry oxygen throughout the body to the cells and to carry waste products from the cells out of the body. But how does it work?
The Hardest Working Muscle: the Heart
Your heart, a muscle roughly the size of your fist, pumps (also known as beats) your entire life. This pumping pushes blood out of your heart to the lungs where it picks up oxygen that your body gets when you breathe in. Your heart then pumps this oxygen containing blood throughout your body to your cells. The blood then returns to the heart with waste products in the form of carbon dioxide, which is eliminated when the blood returns to your lungs and you breathe out. With each beat your heart first fills with blood and then pushes it out, making the sound known as your heart beat.
Blood Vessels: Arteries, Veins, and Capillaries
So how does your blood move toward and away from the heart? The answer is your blood vessels. The term blood vessel refers to three different structures that transport blood throughout your body: your arteries, your veins, and your capillaries. (You can think of the blood vessels as roadways moving your blood from one location to another). Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins bring the blood back. Capillaries are small blood vessels that connect arteries to veins. Using this system of blood vessels, your blood is able to move to your head, your fingertips, and your toes—everywhere in your body where blood is needed.
What Is Blood Made of?
Blood is made up of a few different parts. You’re probably most familiar with your red blood cells because they’re what make your blood red. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to your cells and taking carbon dioxide away. In addition to your red blood cells, you also have white blood cells. These cells help keep you healthy by protecting you from environmental threats. Your blood also contains platelets, which help your body repair itself after it’s been hurt. Additionally, your blood has a substance called plasma. Plasma is what makes blood liquid. It suspends all the other parts of blood and contains many important dissolved substances such as proteins and nutrients. As you can see, each part of the blood is needed and plays an important role in your wellness.
As you can see, the circulatory system is essential to your health and wellness. Powered by the heart, the circulatory system transports oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. To keep your circulatory system functioning properly, it’s important to keep your heart healthy. This is done through exercise and eating nutritious foods. A good place to start is by being active and playing while also eating good whole foods. You may also wish to add a good multivitamin such as doTERRA a2z Chewable™ to further support your health.*
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