Oxygen, the Basis of Life
Submitted by Kent Hughes
January 28, 1999
Every moment of every day, your heart and lungs work together in life-sustaining synchronization. Your lungs are receptacles for every breath of air you take. Your lungs regulate the air temperature, moisturize it for needed moisture, and begin the process of eliminating poisonous and harmful substances.
The air you breathe gives your lungs oxygen. Your lungs add the oxygen to the blood that your heart then pumps to every part of your body and back again to your lungs for recharge.
The very act of breathing is one sign of your heart-lung connection of which you are easily and outwardly aware. Take a deep breath (of oxygen) and exhale (carbon dioxide) slowly-and you are conscious of your body undergoing respiration. Then, find your pulse at your neck or wrist. The pulse you feel is actually your slightly elastic artery expanding with each heartbeat, helping to move the freshly oxygenated blood through your body.
Your lungs are housed with your heart in your thorax. It's the extraordinary capacity of your lungs that make it possible for them to carry on their vital functions. The lungs have a vast, intricately woven lining. If laid out flat, the lining would cover the size of a tennis court. The lining absorbs oxygen and transfers it to the hemoglobin of the blood.
What is the best way to protect your lungs and prevent lung disease? The answers are from the American Lung Association:
Take action-pay attention to lung related health problems.
Avoid lung hazards-cigarette smoke and air pollution.
Think about immunization-influenza and some pneumonias can be prevented with vaccinations.
Helping your heart-remember these short guidelines:
Cut back on foods that are high in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
Control blood pressure-learn to relax, get exercise, eat a healthful, low sodium diet.
Get more-exercise-exercise tones the heart muscles and helps and maximizes the pumping efficiency.
Maintain a healthy weight-check with your doctor for your weight range.