I felt great for what I was doing to save lives. But as I delved further into the practice of donating blood, I found another perk: It is extremely healthy to do!
Related: How to Live Healthy in an Unhealthy World
Before we get into the health benefits of donating blood, here are some reasons why you should donate.
Donating Blood Saves LivesBlood is needed daily in nearly all hospitals during surgeries and other procedures. Most areas are usually at risk for a blood shortage. And since blood doesn't last forever, only about 42 days, the supply is always finite.
Donate when NOT in a state of emergency, blood is always needed.
Tons of blood was thrown away after 9/11. People see tragedy and donate. We were in such a surplus that it was discarded at a record pace!
When is blood needed? Every day! Give every 8 weeks to make sure you do your part to keep the supply plentiful!
Different blood types help different people.
O+ is universal. While it is the most common, it can also donate to type A, type B and type O. I am O+ and they call me every 8 weeks on the dot to get my sweet nectar. O- is unique and NEEDED. Since O- needs O-, they need this badly!
YOUR Health Benefits for Donating BloodEnough about helping others, we all know blood donations are awesome for the world. But for those who need just a tiny push to go donate, here are some selfish and AWESOME reasons to donate!
#1 - Free Health ScreeningThey test blood pressure pre-donation and test for infectious diseases post-donation.
Thus, it's like a free health screening every 8 weeks that will help you identify any major issues. But as you will read soon, this is an added bonus to living longer!
#2 - Lower Risk of Heart DiseaseReduces risk of heart diseases by lowering iron in the body, specifically in males.
Iron is an essential element for the proper functioning of the body. However, excessive iron build up can cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage has been implicated in accelerated ageing, heart attacks, strokes and more life-threatening issues.
#3 - Donating Blood Burns Calories!Donating blood burns about 650 calories. Since most people can donate once every 8 weeks, this is either helping with a deficit or allowing you to eat a donut or two!
#4 - Reduce Risks of Certain Cancers by Lowering Iron LevelsExcessive iron has been correlated to some forms of cancer. Donating blood can reduce these risks!
#5 - Lower Risk of Heart AttackThe American Journal of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack. 
This could be due to blood donations making the blood less viscous, thus allowing better blood flow. That is a HUGE percentage!
#6 - Better Insulin SensitivityDonating Blood can lead to better insulin sensitivity. 
This can help with weight management and performance. Who would have thought?!
#7 - Psychological BenefitsYou feel GOOD for giving blood. You know you're helping people. This puts you in a good mindset.
#8 - Live LongerStudies have shown donating for altruistic reasons outweigh donating for personal reasons.
Charity is GOOD! This is the mindset once again. Donating to help people puts you in a good place mentally, which will lower bad stress and decrease mortality risks.