Your heart is a real masterpiece. It consists mainly of muscle and weighs only around 10 ounces, yet it is responsible for delivering both blood and oxygen to every single part and cell of your body. A healthy heart does a good job of doing so. Problems start to occur when there is not enough blood flowing through the heart or when there is too much blood that the heart needs to process.
The heart is located in a chest cavity that hides behind your breastbone. It has four chambers. They are the left atrium, the right atrium, the left ventricle and the right ventricle.
Here’s how, basically put, the heart works: the blood gets to the right atrium first through the veins. The right atrium then delivers the blood to the right ventricle. The ventricle pushes the blood into the lung arteries where the blood gets the oxygen. Next, pulmonary veins deliver the oxygen-enriched blood to the left atrium. After this, the blood gets to the left ventricle. The ventricle then sends the blood to the aorta, which is the main artery that then distributes the blood between the cells and the organs of a human body. There are also valves open and close, preventing the blood from going backward.
Your heart processes about 1.5 gallons of blood per minute. This means that every hour your heart delivers about 90 gallons of blood to various parts of your body. This number would be sufficient to fill up the gas tank of an average car about six times. In an entire day your heart pumps over 2,000 gallons of blood. This number is much higher when you exercise or do physical work.
Your cardiovascular system is a combination of your heart, the blood itself and the vessels that move the blood around your body.