It’s National Blood Donor Month

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    Winter is one of the most challenging times of the year to collect enough blood products and donations to meet patient
    needs. That’s why National Blood Donor Month is celebrated every January.

    This year’s national health observance comes as the nation’s blood supply has dropped to concerning levels and could delay
    essential blood and platelet transfusions. Blood donors of all blood types—particularly type O blood—are needed to give

    blood or platelets to help meet daily hospital demands.

    Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross.

    It’s vital to have plenty of blood banked to meet the demand. Blood is needed for surgeries, traumatic injuries, cancer
    treatment, and chronic illnesses. On a daily basis, roughly 29,000 units of red blood cells, 5,000 units of platelets and 6,500

    units of plasma are required. Blood and platelets cannot be made synthetically, making voluntary donations necessary.

    The Benefits of Being a Blood Donor

    This month, resolve to be a blood donor and consider the following health benefits of donating blood regularly:

    • Health problems detection—Donated blood is tested to determine if any irregularities were found. You’re also required to undergo a quick health screening before giving blood.
    • Reduced heart disease risks—Donating can help eliminate any excess buildup of iron in the blood, lowering your risk for a heart attack.
    • Caloric burn—The blood donation process can burn up to 650 calories.
    • Mental health boost—Not only are there physical benefits of donating but volunteering to help others can release dopamine and help combat depression and increase your confidence.

    Before you roll up your sleeve and commit to being a regular blood donor, check if you meet the American Red Cross’
    to donate blood safely. Additionally, each state has its own requirements for the minimum age to donate. Talk to
    your doctor if you have questions.

    Starting a Realistic Exercise Routine

    Regular exercise is a great way to take care of your body. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends
    that adults engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes each week and muscle-strengthening

    activities two times per week.
    Many adults cite busy schedules as a reason regular exercise isn’t feasible. However, getting enough exercise often comes down to prioritizing movement and getting creative with planning. Consider these tips to start a realistic routine:
    • Start sensibly.Begin with short sessions and increase the time and difficulty. If you overdo it, you may experience muscle soreness and quit.
    • Choose a fun workout.Find an activity you enjoy—or are good at—and incorporate it into your routine. You’re more likely to stick with the workouts if you’re having fun.
    • Move when your energy is the highest.You may see the best results when working out during your peak hours. Some people also like to work out in the morning before other things come up during the day.
    • Schedule workouts.Putting workouts on your calendar can help you commit to a routine. If you need to change the scheduled workout, reschedule it on your calendar immediately.

    It may also help to work out with a friend or personal training to help you stay accountable. Before you start working out, visit
    your doctor for a checkup and to discuss your desire to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.

    Types of Exercise

    There are so many ways to move your body, so knowing where to start may be
    overwhelming. Here are some common types of exercise:

    Aerobic—Any type of cardiovascular conditioning or “cardio” (e.g., running, jump roping and biking)
    Bootcamp—High-intensity circuits combining aerobic and strength exercises
    Flexibility—Stretching to aid in muscle recovery, your range of motion and injury prevention
    High-intensity interval training (HIIT)—Repetitions of short bursts of high- and low-intensity exercises
    Strength training—Weightlifting or resistance training to increase muscular strength and endurance

    Rescue Your Skin This Winter

    Taking care of your skin the right way can be difficult. The task can seem almost impossible to achieve when the temperature
    and humidity levels drop. Having dry skin may not seem like the most concerning health problem, but not treating dry skin can

    result in itchiness, cracked or painful skin, eczema, and dermatitis.

    This winter, you should limit how much hot water you expose your skin to as hot water rapidly dries out your skin. Additionally,
    you use minimal soap, and you should make sure that the soap you use is gentle on your skin. Finally, you should ensure

    you’re properly moisturizing to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

    Two-step Chicken

    Makes: 4 servings
    • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 2 boneless chicken breasts
    • 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
    • ½ cup water
    1. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high.
    2. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes.
    3. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
    4. Stir the soup and water together in the skillet and heat it to a boil.
    5. Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
    Nutritional Information (per serving)
    Total calories: 181

    Total fat: 10 g

    Protein: 17 g

    Sodium: 537 mg

    Carbohydrate: 5 g

    Dietary fiber: 0 g

    Saturated fat: 2 g

    Total sugars: 0 g

    Source: MyPlate



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