- from Heart
Right now, your heart is pumping about five quarts of blood throughout your body.
The blood travels through more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels. That includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. That’s far enough to circle the equator twice, and then some! A heart works tirelessly over a lifetime. In an average life, the heart beats 3 billion times without taking even one break. Pretty good for a muscle the size of a fist and lighter than two baseballs!
What’s the point of all this hard labor? The biggest point of all: life itself. The main purpose of your heart is to pump blood all over your body all of the time. That blood contains cells and chemicals. Without blood’s precious “cargo,” your muscles and organs, your heart, and most especially you would die. If the cargo is imbalanced—if certain chemicals are low or missing—your body systems go out of whack. If a virus invades, blood carries an army of disease-fighting white blood cells to the site of attack. Muscles and organs—especially the brain—need a steady supply of oxygen to live. Red blood cells carry oxygen. Without it, brain tissue begins to die off in a few minutes.
Treat your heart right, and this tireless machine will keep going and going.