Dry January: 6 Benefits of Going on a Month-Long Alcohol Hiatus
If you’re not familiar with the term Dry January, it basically means taking a break from drinking alcohol for the first month of the year. Some people who follow this public health campaign consider it as a resolution for the New Year, while others use it to detoxify themselves from the shots and pints they consumed over the holidays.
But is going on an alcohol hiatus for a month in a year doing you any good? Here are some of its benefits that could possibly convince you to cool off with the booze.
Improves the General Health
Drinking less—or ditching it— can have positive health benefits. After all, excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, impaired sleeping patterns, and increased risk of heart disease and liver problems.
Cutting back on alcohol after years of too much drinking can’t magically restore your body, but it can’t hurt either. Taking a load off your poor liver even for just one month isn’t a bad idea. Just make sure that you won’t make up for the “lost time” by binge drinking for the next 11 months.
The Feeling of a Booze-free Body
Do you feel like your drinking habits have affected your health? Well, this is the perfect opportunity to listen to your body. Hit that reset button and get your systems back on track. Without alcohol in your system, you can check where your body is now health-wise in terms of physical, mental, and psychological wellness.
Better Sleep, More Energy
Since you won’t be out drinking to your heart’s content in most nights, you’ll be able to get in those sleep hours. More sleep means more energy, clear-headedness, regular digestion, increased productivity, focus, and improved overall well-being. You probably won’t be tempted to skip workout sessions that much anymore.
Better Immune System
Although skipping alcohol can’t keep cough and colds away from you, it can have good effects on your immune system. By drinking less, you get to sleep and exercise more. You can also avoid inflammatory reactions and suppression of your immune system; things that intoxication can do to your body.
Could Help in Shedding the Extra Weight
It’s not really the same with healthy eating and regular exercise, but cutting alcohol from your lifestyle can aid you if you’re trying to lose weight or are trying to keep it in check. Experts say that alcohol can amp up hunger and impair judgment —therefore lead to bad food decisions. It can also contribute to bloating due to its dehydrating effects.
Unlike fad diets, Dry January won’t compromise your nutrition. Since a standard drink usually has around 150 calories, cutting back —especially if you normally consume several drinks a week — can decrease your caloric intake.
Makes You Step Back and Reevaluate Your Relationship with Alcohol
After the month is over, you get to compare how you feel before, during, and after the alcohol-free month. Through Dry January, you’ll be able to step back and assess the effects of alcohol on your health, finances, social life, and overall well-being and be able to make the necessary changes.
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