This A – Z Challenge post is brought to you by the letter “L”

A to Z Challenge

I am so excited to take part in this, my second, A – Z Challenge!  Last year I did the challenge using “recipes” as my inspiration.  Well, this year I’m going to draw on my nursing background and use “parts of the human body” as my inspiration!  Hmmm…a part of the body that starts with “Q”, “X” or “Z”….

It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets the Challenge!

So, without further ado,  “L” is for Lungs {bear with me on this one, it’s a bit long but I’m going to leave a link to a fun crossword at the end}:

Your lungs bring fresh oxygen into your body. They remove the carbon dioxide and other waste gases that your body’s doesn’t need.

To breathe in (inhale), you use the muscles of your rib cage- especially the major muscle, the diaphragm. Your diaphragm tightens and flattens, allowing you to suck air into your lungs. To breathe out (exhale), your diaphragm and rib cage muscles relax. This naturally lets the air out of your lungs.

person breathing, air going into lungs

To get the oxygen your body needs, you inhale air through your mouth and nose. The mucous membranes in your mouth and nose warm and moisten the air, and trap particles of foreign matter (like dirt and dust). The air passes through the throat into the trachea (windpipe).

The trachea divides into the left and right bronchi. Like a branch, each bronchus divides again and again, becoming narrower and narrower.

trachea branching off into bronchi

Your smallest airways end in the alveoli, small, thin air sacs that are arranged in clusters like bunches of balloons. When you breathe in by enlarging the chest cage, the “balloons” expand as air rushes in to fill the vacuum. When you breathe out, the “balloons” relax and air moves out of the lungs.

Alveoli, tiny air sacs at the tips of your airways

Tiny blood vessels surround each of the 300 million alveoli in the lungs. Oxygen moves across the walls of the air sacs, is picked up by the blood and carried to the rest of the body. Carbon dioxide or waste gas passes into the air sacs from the blood and is breathed out.

blood vessels surrounding alveoli

As promised…a FUN CROSSWORD!!

L is also for many other parts of the body:

lamina A thin plate of bone that extends superiorly from the body of a vertebra to form either side of the arch of a vertebra.

lanugo  Short, silky fetal hair, which may be present for a short time on a premature infant.

large intestine The last major portion of the GI tract, consisting of the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal.

larynx  The structure located between the pharynx and trachea that houses the vocal cords; commonly called the voice box.

leg The portion of the lower extremity between the knee and ankle.

lens A transparent refractive organ of the eye positioned posterior to the pupil and iris.

leukocyte  A white blood cell.

ligament  A tough cord or fibrous band of connective tissue that binds bone to bone to strengthen and provide flexibility to a joint. It also may support viscera.

limbic system  A portion of the brain concerned with emotions and autonomic activity.

liver A large visceral organ inferior to the diaphragm in the right hypochondriac region. The liver detoxifies the blood and modifies the blood plasma concentration of glucose, triglycerides, ketone bodies, and proteins.

lymph node A small, ovoid mass of reticular tissue located along the course of lymph vessels.

I found the above definitions  at the McGraw-Hill Applied Biology Resource Center.  Visit their site and you’ll be amazed to know there are even more “L” parts of the body listed there!

The information contained in this post was obtained from the Canadian Lung Association,  WikipediaYou Tube and McGraw-Hill Applied Biology Resource Center.


  1. What a well researched post! I love the crossword at the end. It’s a great way to help remember the parts, the good they do and the harm, contaminates can cause them.
    And I always thought our legs went ‘all the way’ up hip to our hips!! lol
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  2. Thanks Kathy, these posts are fun to write!

  3. As usual a really great post. I particularly like the video of the lungs as it pulls the info in the written word all together. Great “L” word.
    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

  4. Very well researched!This would be an Awesome way for Med/Nursing students to study!!

  5. What a unique idea for the Challenge! Loved the idea of the crossword at the end! Thanks for visiting/following my blog. Great to meet you! Good luck with the rest! (Oh, yeah – I love the name of your blog, as well! I’m a Still-Yummy Mom, as well!)

  6. Love it! Lungs are so fascinating!

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