What do our lungs do?
Take a deep breath in and out. If you put your hands on your ribcage as you breathe, you may feel it expanding and contracting as your lungs take in and release air.
Located in your chest, your lungs are a pair of pink organs made of spongy tissue. The lungs take in oxygen, a gas, and release the gas carbon dioxide.
The cells of your body need oxygen in order to stay healthy. However, your body needs to get rid of carbon dioxide, a waste product. It's a good thing the lungs are up to the job!
Did you know that your left lung is smaller than your right lung?! Your left lung is smaller for a reason, to make room for your heart! While your right lung has three parts, or lobes, your left lung has two. Inside your lungs are tiny air sacs called alveoli. Your lungs play an important part in getting oxygen to your blood, where it can then be pumped throughout your body. Oxygen travels to your blood from your lungs' alveoli through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. It is through these capillaries that the waste product carbon dioxide is transferred back from the blood to the alveoli, where it can be exhaled, or breathed out.
"Respiration" is another word for breathing. Your body's respiratory system includes all of the body parts involved in the process of breathing, including nose, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), bronchi (tubes that deliver oxygen to your lungs) and lungs. When you breathe in, or inhale, air enters your body through your nose and/or mouth, then passes through your throat and larynx (voice box). From the larynx, the air then travels through your trachea (windpipe), where it branches into your two bronchial tubes. These tubes lead directly to your lungs! Let's not forget the importance of breathing out! After all, as you exhale, the waste product carbon dioxide leaves your body.