Exploring Our Cardiovascular System

Exploring Our Cardiovascular System

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Exploring Our Cardiovascular System

Our cardiovascular system consists of the heart, vascular system and
blood. These organs all work together to supply oxygen to our body,
which we need to live.


Blood is used as a transport system, this picks up oxygen from around
our body, and haemoglobin puts the oxygen into cells called red blood
cells. Then this gets moved to our muscles that are contracting ready
for movement to take place.


The heart this is the strongest muscle in the body, and has four parts
to it these are called chambers, the heart also has separate parts to
it these are called chambers. The left side of the heart consists of
oxygenated blood and the right side consists of de- oxygenated.

The cycle of the heart, our heart never stops beating. The vein called
the pulmonary vein, this vein is attached to the lungs to collect
oxygen. Haemoglobin then picks up the oxygen and this is then put into
red blood cells. This is then turned into oxygenated blood and brought
to the heart by the pulmonary vein. The pulmonary vein is the only
artery in our body which consists of oxygenated blood. This is when
the heart beat contraction takes place, the mitrial valves open; this
then lets blood flow through into the left ventricles. This is where
the ventricular systole contraction takes place.

After the oxygen is used, a gas called carbon dioxide is produced; the
veins carry blood through to the heart. To get to the heart it flows
through the vena cava this then goes through to the right atrium, this
is when the mitrial valves open and blood goes through to the right
ventricle. This then gets pumped to our lungs through the pulmonary


Training affects our cardio vascular system in numerous ways. The
heart during training increases in size and contracts constantly and
becomes quicker. Capillaries grow around the heart so that more oxygen
can be supplied. Our recovery heart rate will go back to normal

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quicker depending on how fit we are.


The respiratory system, as we breathe our respiratory muscles
contract, these muscles include the diaphragm and internal- external
intercostals. As we breathe our rib cage moves upwards and outwards,
it does this so we can increase the amount of oxygen in our lungs. The
oxygen then travels down the wind pipe. The air passage is the split
into two sections for both lungs. The oxygen travels through the
bronchus; this then goes into the alveoli. After the air particles are
branched out in the alveoli gaseous exchange takes place.

When we breathe out the diaphragm and external- inter costals relax.
The ribs move inwards and downwards as this decreases the amount of
air in the lungs. When we exercise we decide when we breathe, for
instance incase we need to breathe faster.


Breathing control, this is controlled by the nervous system this is
influenced by chemical changes during exercise. When we breathe at
normal rate, nerve impulses from the respiratory system are sent out.
This controls our bodies’ movement and is situated in the middle of
our brain. Inspiration then takes place, nerve impulses are sent to
the external intercostals and the diaphragm, and this causes

Expiration then takes place, muscles relax and expiration then follows


Breathing during exercise, this is forced breathing, the respiratory
control centre stimulates internal intercostals which causes forced
expiration. Ventilation is a function of rate and depth of breathing.
Acidity in the blood is increased this is caused by lactic acid and
carbon dioxide. This decrease in pH is detected by chemorceptors which
relay information to the respiratory centre in the brain. Once blood
PH levels drop below a certain level, the respiratory control centre
is simulated and voluntary control is lost.


Blood is received directly from the heart, arteries need to have
thick muscular and elastic walls so that they will be able to
withstand the very high pressure of the blood as it is forced out of
the heart.

Elastic fibres in the arteries are the main structure which provide
the strength for the artery to resist the high pressure. The nearer
the artery is to the heart, the thicker is the elastic fibres are .
The thick elastic walls also help to maintain the high pressure of the
blood in the arteries. The high pressure help push the blood along the

Shown below is a diagram of an artery showing the structure of it.



While veins have the same layers as arteries, i.e. intima, media and
adventitia, the organization of each layer is different, reflecting
different function. In general veins have to sustain a much lower
pressure than arteries, therefore have less need for a thick muscular
intima. Veins are the capacitance vessels of the system and must be
able to dilate to accept an increased volume.

The large veins have a thin media with smooth muscle, elastin and
collagen separated from the intima by an incomplete internal elastic
lamina. In many large veins valves are present as specializations of
the intima. The adventitia is composed largely of collagen and is
thicker than in arteries of comparable size. Perivascular nerves are
present in the adventitia but are scarce indicating a low level of
control of veins by the nervous system.


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