Arteries are the large, muscular vessels that carry blood away from the heart toward the organs.. Arteries have thicker walls than veins. The elastic qualities of artery walls allow them to carry pressurized blood from the heart while maintaining blood pressure.
Arteries branch into smaller arteries and finally the capillaries that carry nutrients to the body’s cells and tissues.
Veins are vessels that carry blood from the organs toward the heart. The walls of veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward and pooling in the legs, feet, arms or hands due to the pull of gravity. The location of veins can vary from person to person.
Capillaries are the smallest of the body's blood vessels, measuring 5-10 μm in diameter. They connect smoller arteries (arterioles) and smoller veins (venules), and they are important for the exchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other substances between blood and body cells. The walls of capillaries are made of only a single layer of endothelial cells. This layer is so thin that molecules such as oxygen, water and lipids can pass through them by diffusion and enter the body tissues.
In general the term arterial blood is used to describe blood high in oxygen and venous blood to describe blood low in oxygen, although the pulmonary arteries carry deoxygenated blood and blood flowing in the pulmonary vein is rich in oxygen. (...)
Blood Vessels and Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. The pressure of the circulating blood gradually decreases as blood moves from the arteries, capillaries, and veins. The term "blood pressure" generally refers to arterial pressure, which is the pressure in the larger arteries that take blood away from the heart. Arterial pressure results from the force that is applied to blood by the contracting heart, where the blood “presses” against the walls of the arteries. During each heartbeat, BP varies between a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure.
The systolic arterial pressure is defined as the peak pressure in the arteries, which occurs systole( contraction); the diastolic arterial pressure is the lowest pressure when the heart is in diastole (relaxation).
the healthy ranges for arterial pressure are:
• Systolic: less than 120 mm Hg
• Diastolic: less than 80 mm Hg
Factors such as age, gender and race influence blood pressure values. Pressure also varies with exercise, emotional reactions, sleep, stress, nutritional factors, drugs, or disease. Hypertension is a condition in which a person’s blood pressure is chronically high.
This link to Discovery Health you have a video with a good explanation of blood pressure and this video is also interesting