Exploring sport online: Athletes and efficient hearts
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5.4 Finding your own arteries and veins

Figure 10
Figure 10 A forearm showing veins – a neck showing carotid artery and jugular vein – back of the knee showing artery

Some arteries and veins are hidden well inside the body, but we can usually find them at the joints, where they are fairly close to the surface of the skin. For example, at the back of your knee you can find the big artery that runs down your leg, carrying blood right down into the foot. Most people can find veins in their forearms where they appear as blue lines below the skin (as shown in Figure 10). In the neck, we can find both a major artery, called the carotid artery, and a major vein, the jugular vein. These take blood to and from the brain, and are relatively large: the brain needs a lot of blood.

Use the photos in Figure 10 to find the same arteries and veins in your own body. Don't be afraid to give them a bit of a push – you'll find they are quite robust.

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