The Circulatory System

The circulatory (or cardiovascular) system is the body’s system that brings blood to the body. The circulatory system consists of two circuits that blood travels through:

  1. The pulmonary system, a "loop" through the lungs where blood is oxygenated
  2. The systemic system, a "loop" through the rest of the body to provide oxygenated blood.

There are three components of the circulatory system:

  • The heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Blood

Your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood around your body through a network of arteries and tiny capillaries just one cell thick. Once the oxygen and nutrients have been used up by the body, the blood is carried back to your heart through veins, together with waste products collected from your body tissue.

Returning the blood back to your heart from your feet and legs is hard work, as your veins have to overcome gravity.

The muscles in your lower legs and feet operate like a pump, pushing the blood back up to your heart and helping to maintain a good level of circulation.

References

NHS
The Circulation Foundation
The British Heart Foundation

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