The heart, the arteries, veins, and capillaries all make up the cardiovascular system. It is responsible for bringing oxygen and nutrients to the body and removing carbon dioxide and waste. A healthy cardiovascular system is vital to our existence.
The cardiovascular system has three main components: blood, blood vessels (arteries and veins), and the heart.
The oxygen-rich blood leaves the heart through the arteries and delivers oxygen and nutrients 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 get oxygen and moves through the network again. The cardiovascular system works in conjunction with the pulmonary system - as it is the lungs that supply the oxygen to the heart and eliminates the waste of carbon dioxide.
There are several diseases that may affect this system. These include arteriosclerosis congenital and rheumatic heart disease, vascular inflammation and phlebitis. Here are some risk factors that you should consider:
- Lack of key nutrients
- High blood pressure
- high levels of environmental noise
- Being overweight
- Physical inactivity
- A history of heart disease in your family
- Male gender
To avoid illness, it is important to keep your heart healthy with regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) and healthy diet (low in saturated fats and high in fibre).