We’re digging into significant health issues now in my classes. This week I painted the picture of our vascular tree, using broad brush strokes to illustrate how vital it is to overall health. (Actually, I got this picture from a friendly website:-)
This picture shows arteries and veins going and returning from every part of the body, including every vital organ system. We have about 100 trillion cells in our body, and every single one of them depends on the circulatory system to deliver vital nutrients and oxygen every minute of our lives. When you count every artery, vein and capillary, the startling fact is that we each have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our bodies. The health of every cell, tissue and organ in the body is absolutely dependent on the health of these blood vessels. They are literally our lifelines.
Unfortunately, most of us let our lifelines deteriorate to the point that by mid-life, we are living with significantly damaged blood vessels. This is the underlying problem in most of our chronic diseases, ranging from high blood pressure to heart attacks and strokes, most of them preventable. The most important thing we can do by far is to keep our magnificent circulatory system clean and healthy. We’ll spend the rest of the semester learning how to do this!