The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood to the body. The heart is at the center of the circulatory system. This system consists of a network of blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). These blood vessels carry blood to and from all areas of your body.
An electrical system controls the heart and uses electrical signals to contract the heart’s walls. When the walls contract, blood is pumped into the circulatory system. Each contraction and relaxation of the heart is what is commonly referred to the heart-beat (heard as lub-dub when you listen with a stethoscope). In this way, the heart works like a pump and beats approximately 100,000 times a day. Without the heart’s pumping action, blood can’t move throughout your body. Blood carries the oxygen and nutrients that organs need to work well. Blood also carries carbon dioxide (a waste product) to the lungs to be exhaled out.
A healthy heart supplies the body with the right amount of blood at the rate needed to work well. If disease or injury weaken the heart’s beating (pumping), the body’s organs won’t receive enough blood and oxygen to work normally. So this is why the heart is very central to everything that happens in the body.
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