By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If your New Year’s resolutions include “helping people”, then you might want to consider blood donation.

January is National Blood Donor Month.

The Red Cross recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donors and hopes to encourage others to do the same.

While the benefits of blood donation are clear for the recipient, today’s “Lauren’s List” breaks down the benefits for donors, too.

Free Blood Test
In order to ensure the safety and quality of a blood donation, that blood must be tested. Donors can request to be notified of any irregularities in the results.

Calorie Burn
Did you know donating blood is basically the equivalent of a workout?! People burn approximately 650 calories per donation of one pint of blood, according to the University of California, San Diego. A donor who regularly donates blood can lose a significant amount of weight, but it should not be thought of as a weight loss plan by any means.

Reduce Iron Build Up
How thick and sticky your blood is and how much friction your blood creates through the blood vessels can determine how much damage is done to the cells lining your arteries. You can reduce that viscosity by donating blood periodically. The removal of oxidative iron from the body through blood donation can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

Saving Lives
Simply the act of doing good, makes you feel good. Even without any of the other benefits, just knowing you did something that could save someone’s life should be the ultimate mood booster.

Do you donate blood?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to

Lauren Pastrana