The heart is a muscular pump that pushes blood through blood vessels around the body. Essential to life, the heart beats continuously, pumping the equivalent of more than 14,000 litres of blood every day.
Blood vessels form the living system of tubes that carry blood both to and from the heart. All cells in the body need oxygen and the vital nutrients found in blood. Without oxygen and these nutrients, the cells will die. The heart helps to provide oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues and organs by ensuring a rich supply of blood. Not only do blood vessels carry oxygen and nutrients, they also transport carbon dioxide and waste products away from our cells. Carbon dioxide is passed out of the body by the lungs; most of the other waste products are disposed of by the kidneys.