Next week kicks off the big holiday season! Hopefully your greatest concern is how to fit in all the festivities and keep to your workout schedule, but don’t forget those whose holiday might not be so bright.
Each year from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, blood donations take a nosedive; unfortunately the need never diminishes. That’s where you come in.
Giving a single pint of your healthy blood could save as many as three lives. That’s a pretty cool gift and all it takes is about an hour out of your busy schedule; it’s painless and completely safe, too.
What To Expect When Giving Blood
To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 (16 with a parent’s consent) and you must weigh at least 110 pounds.
Once you decide that you are going to be giving blood you don’t have to do anything special. At least four hours before your scheduled appointment make sure you eat a healthy balanced meal and drink plenty of water. (You’re already doing that anyway, right?)
A nurse or volunteer will ask you questions regarding personal health, sexual habits, prescription and non-prescription drug use, and recent travel. I’m sure they’ve heard it all before so be honest. It’s about the safety of the blood, don’t worry they won’t call the feds if you’ve got a skeleton lurking in your closet.
Next, you’ll lie back and kick your feet up while they harvest a pint. (Wear sleeves that are easy to push up.) For the next 10 minutes or so listen to music or chat on the phone. When you are finished, you get a band-aid, a candy bar, cookies, raisins and/or juice.
Afterwards you can resume normal activity, but don’t plan to exercise in the next 24 hours. Take it easy instead and reward yourself with a nice protein-rich dinner!
The Hidden Benefits of Giving Blood
Now, if saving lives isn’t enough to put a smile on your face, get this.
When you give up your time and give blood, your body rewards you with a hefty calorie burn! It takes approximately 650 calories for your body to recoup what it has lost. That’s a decent calorie deficit for doing a good deed! Frequent blood donors also reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer!
This holiday season celebrate your good health and keep that blood pumping in more ways then one! Donate and give the gift of life.
How great is this demand? Every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of blood; that’s roughly 41,000 blood donations every day. Follow this link to find a blood drive in your area. —Karen