The heart – for maximum performance
The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart as a “motor” and the blood vessels as the “transport routes”. An adult heart is roughly as big as a man’s fist and weighs about 300 g. We rely on our heart to deliver a top performance throughout our lifetime: right from the very first heartbeat in our mother’s womb, the muscle pumps blood through the circulatory system with every beat. It takes 20-60 seconds for the entire volume of blood (4-6 litres) in an adult body to flow through the whole organism.
Blood vessels transport the blood through the body and thus ensure that the tissue is supplied with oxygen and nutrients, while also disposing of metabolic end products. There are different kinds of blood vessels: arteries, veins and capillaries. Arteries are vessels that transport the oxygen-rich blood away from the heart. They are connected to very fine blood vessels, the capillaries, more than 30,000 million of which supply the individual body cells. The deoxygenated blood and the metabolic end products are taken back to the heart via the veins.
Useful tips for heart and vessels
In addition to healthy nutrition, there are a number of other measures that can help your heart and vessels. Keep an eye on your weight, especially if you have rolls of fat around your middle. Schedule regular exercise into your life – even 30 minutes of brisk walking or cycling per day can be sufficient. Smoking damages more than just the lungs – it is a significant risk factor for the vessels as well and so nicotine should be avoided, as should excessive alcohol consumption. Make a conscious effort to relax and plan periods of rest into your hectic everyday life. Reap the greatest benefits from this relaxation by going for a walk, for example.