How the Heart Works
Intoduction to How The Heart Works
Your heart is an amazing organ. It continuously pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body to sustain life. This fist-sized powerhouse beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping five or six quarts of blood each minute, or about 2,000 gallons per day.
How Does Blood Travel Through the Heart?
As the heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels, called the circulatory system. The vessels are elastic, muscular tubes that carry blood to every part of the body.
Blood is essential. In addition to carrying fresh oxygen from the lungs and nutrients to your body's tissues, it also takes the body's waste products, including carbon dioxide, away from the tissues. This is necessary to sustain life and promote the health of all the body's tissues.
There are three main types of blood vessels:
This vast system of blood vessels -- arteries, veins, and capillaries -- is over 60,000 miles long. That's long enough to go around the world more than twice!
Blood flows continuously through your body's blood vessels. Your heart is the pump that makes it all possible.
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