How Does Blood Circulate in the Body?

Attention! This Wonder of the Day has been known to attract sharks and vampires. What are we referring to? Blood, obviously!

It is the substance that flows throughout our bodies. We require blood to survive, so we want to keep it inside—where it belongs. When we sustain an injury and it starts seeping through the skin, that is when we encounter difficulties and become queasy! So, let us make an effort to keep our blood inside.

However, have you ever paused to contemplate where it is inside you? Does it remain in one place? No! It moves around. A lot. Let us examine blood more closely and what it accomplishes within our bodies.

Your body contains a considerable amount of blood. The larger you become, the more blood you possess. Most of us have around a gallon or more of blood. If you could purchase a gallon of blood at the supermarket, it might be interesting to examine the ingredients and see what it contains.

When your body generates new blood, it follows a precise recipe that combines four different components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Each of these components has distinct functions within the blood.

Red blood cells transport oxygen to the areas of your body that require it. White blood cells assist in fighting infections. Platelets aid in stopping bleeding if you have a cut. Plasma carries various substances, such as nutrients, proteins, and hormones, throughout the body.

Your blood is a vital part of your circulatory system. Your heart is a powerful muscle that propels blood throughout your body—from the top of your brain to the tips of your toes. The routes it takes consist of different types of blood vessels, including arteries and veins.

Your arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of your body. Due to the heart being a strong muscle, this process does not take long. Did you know it takes less than a minute for blood to reach every part of your body?

After oxygen is delivered to the areas of your body that require it, your blood returns to your heart through your veins. Along the way, it collects carbon dioxide and other waste products that your body wants to eliminate. It is somewhat similar to taking out your body’s trash!

Thanks to your lungs, your blood is replenished with oxygen upon returning to the heart. It is then pumped back out to the rest of the body. This cycle continues endlessly, repeatedly, throughout your entire life! This continuous and regular movement of blood throughout your body is known as circulation.

Although all blood functions in the same way, were you aware that there are different blood types? Depending on the types of proteins present in your red blood cells, you will have one of eight blood types, which are named using the letters A, B, and O. The eight blood types are: A negative, A positive, B negative, B positive, O negative, O positive, AB negative, and AB positive.

There is no blood type that is superior or inferior to others. They are simply different. Some blood types are more uncommon than others. If you have a rare blood type, it may be more challenging to find a blood donor if you ever require one. That is why individuals with rare blood types are often encouraged to regularly donate blood.

Give It a Try

Are you ready to enhance your knowledge about blood? Find a friend or family member who isn’t too squeamish and try one or more of the following activities:

  • Can you count to 100 or even higher? Of course you can! Why is this important? You are going to check your pulse. You don’t need to be a doctor or a nurse to perform this simple diagnostic test on your heart. Just locate your pulse (check the side of your neck or on your wrist just below your thumb) and then look at a clock and count how many beats you feel in exactly one minute. That’s 60 seconds, so you’ll need to count for a while. Ask an adult if you can check their pulse too. Compare your results. Who has a faster heart rate? For a fun experiment, try running around your yard for five minutes and then check your pulse again. How much higher is it after running? Why? Discuss it with a friend or family member.
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine what is happening inside your body. If you would like some help visualizing what it might look like if you could see inside yourself, go online and watch the movie “The Circulatory System.” Have fun exploring the circulatory system from the inside out! Summarize what you learned for a friend or family member after watching.
  • Feeling up for a challenge? How about donating blood? You never know when you might need donated blood in the future. There are various emergencies that require donated blood. Where do they get it from? From people just like you and me! Talk to an adult about the importance of donating blood and then inquire at a local Red Cross center about the times and locations where you can donate blood. NOTE: You may not be old enough to donate blood yet. But it doesn’t hurt to ask! In the process, you can find out your blood type. Compare your blood type to that of your friends and family members. Do you have an especially rare blood type? If so, you can make a plan to donate blood on a regular basis. You might become a true lifesaver!

Sources of Wonder

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