It is important to understand the function of the cardiovascular system in order to see how your lifestyle choices affect your heart. It is a very efficient and complex network.
Our very existence relies on the function of the cardiovascular system.
The function of the cardiovascular system is to circulate blood through a network of vessels throughout the body to provide individual cells with oxygen and nutrients and help dispose of metabolic wastes. The oxygen rich blood leaves the heart via the arteries and delivers nutrients and oxygen to the body in exchange for waste and carbon dioxide. The oxygen-depleted blood travels back to the heart via the veins. At the heart the blood acquires more oxygen and makes the journey thought the body again. This is an involuntary network that works 24 hours a day. Here are some of the important functions of the cardiovascular system:
- Circulates oxygen and removes carbon dioxide
- Provides cells with nutrients
- Protects the body against disease and infection
- Stops bleeding after injury by clotting
- Regulates body temperature.
- Removes the waste products
- Transports hormones to cells and organs.
Each day the heart beats about 100,000 times and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. This network exists in conjunction with the pulmonary network - as it is the lungs that supply the oxygen to the heart and eliminates the waste of carbon dioxide. To avoid illness, it is important to keep your heart healthy with regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) and a healthy diet (low in saturated fats and high in fibre).