by NPC National Athlete Gwen Hansen

     That’s right, be SELFISH. Donating blood is an AWESOME way to contribute to your community but what most people don’t realize is that it’s one of the best ways to take care of your own health. Getting rid of your old blood cells and having your body produce new clean cells prevents high blood pressure, reduces risk of heart attack and stroke, and it has strong anti-aging benefits.
     For elite athletes or for anyone taking anabolic supplements, blood donation should be routine. Testosterone-based supplements cause the body to produce more red blood cells.  As time goes on that will cause the blood to thicken; it may even become “sludge-like.” Thick blood causes high blood pressure and greatly increases the risk of heart attack & stroke. Blood pressure, blood thinners and cholesterol medications have some of the most harsh side effects on your health and your wallet, so why not avoid that?
     In my personal experience, donating blood couldn’t be easier. You can look up a donation center online; there are always locations close by. You show up there, professional technicians draw your blood, crack a few jokes for you if you’re nervous, give you some snacks and send you on your way. Usually you are out in 20 minutes.
     You will really be helping others by doing this as well. There are all types of people that need blood and there is a demand for blood for research. Now go take care of yourself and your friends!