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The circulatory system is an elaborate delivery system. The blood moves from the heart via the blood vessels. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to the every part of the body in the blood. The blood also picks up waste products for your body to get rid of them.
This efficient method is called circulation. Read on for some facts about your body that will amaze you.
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The Heart of it All
The heart is a muscle about the size of your clenched fist. Inside the heart muscle are four hollow chambers. The purpose of each chamber is to pump the blood all around your body. Adult hearts weigh around 9-12 ounces, no more than the weight of a can of soda pop. Although the heart weighs a mere .5% of the body’s weight it does a ton of work.
An adult's heart pumps out 6,000 gallons of blood. Not each year, not each week, but each and every day! Even more astonishing, your beats approximately 30 million times a year. Wow.
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The blood in your body is more than just a mode to carry oxygen to your cells. There are actually three parts to your blood; the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets.
- Red blood cells are the oxygen deliverers. They also carry back the waste gases, or carbon dioxide.
- White blood cells defend your body against disease.
- Platelets make up the rest of the blood. These cells help your body repair itself after illness or injury.
- In one drop of blood there are 5 million red blood cells, 8,000 white blood cells and 250,000 platelets.
- Blood is thicker than water.
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The blood begins to circulate starting from the left ventricle of the heart into the aorta. When blood leaves the heart, it is full of oxygen. The oxygen gets spread throughout the body starting from the aorta, then into the system of arteries and then finally into the smallest arterioles.
- The aorta is an artery; it is the largest artery of the body. All the arteries carry the blood out of your heart.
- Veins carry the blood back to the heart.
- If your blood vessels were strung together and measured, they would circle the globe 2 1/2 times.
- In just one to two minutes, blood circulates throughout your whole body. It brings the oxygen out and the carbon dioxide back within that short amount of time, and then it repeats, and repeats and repeats your whole life.
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Count the Beats
Your pulse, or heartbeat, is just the sound of the valves in the heart closing. This happens as they push the blood throughout the chambers. If you listen to it through a stethoscope it sounds like, "lub-dub, lub-dub."
The beats are from the heart muscle contracting and pumping blood out of the heart. First the right and left atria contract, pumping blood to the right and left ventricles, then the ventricles contract and work together to push blood out of the heart.
The pause in between is when the heart fills up with blood again to start the process over.
Take your pulse, write down, now run in place or jump rope for one minute and check your pulse again. Your pulse will increase in order to get more oxygen to your body quicker.
Over your life time, your average pulse rate changes.
Newborns - 130
3 months - 140
6 months - 130
1 year - 120
2 years - 115
3 to 6 years- 100
8 years - 90
12 years - 80
Adults - 60 to 100 beats per minute.
- What is Blood? http://library.thinkquest.org/5777/cir4.htm
- IMCPL Kids Info Guide, Circulatory System-http://www.imcpl.org/kids/guides/health/circulatorysystem.html
- Your Heart and Circulatory System http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/heart.html