Have you ever participated in a blood drive? If you’ve been reluctant to roll up your sleeve to make a donation in the past, we’ll explain why it’s smart to step up to the plate right now:
- Donating blood cuts your risk of heart disease and cancer. According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, regular blood donors are 88% less likely to have a heart attack than non-donors. They also have lower-than-average cancer rates. That’s because blood donations reduce the amount of iron in your blood. And when excess iron in the blood oxidizes, it damages artery walls and spurs the growth of tumors.
- It burns as many calories as an hour of Spin class. Certainly, nobody recommends blood donation as a weight-loss tool. Especially since you can only donate once every two months, because of the wear and tear on your blood-producing systems. But University of California researchers estimate that your body burns about 650 calories replacing every pint of blood you donate.
- Donating blood is like giving your body an oil change. Your body replaces the blood you give within 48 hours. And your new red blood cells carry more oxygen than the older ones, which helps your organs and muscles work more efficiently.