Have you been trying to cajole yourself into going hard for Dry January? This is that special time of year when people commit (or at least try) to sobering up for one month to make up for all the Bacchanalia activity during the holidays.
So, how’s it going? We’re a couple of weeks into the month and resolutions have been made and started. If you need a little extra push, some convincing, or even an incentive, consider us your buddy for that.
Whether you imbibe alcohol like a rock star, occasionally, or somewhere in between, your health will benefit from leaving the booze alone for a spell. Down below are seven awesome ways that taking a break could benefit your body.
Sleep Like a Baby
Though having a glass of wine or nightcap can sedate you, alcohol disrupts your REM sleep and can cause you to be restless whether you realize it or not. And then there’s the middle-of-the-night bathroom runs to consider. Sweet, uninterrupted dreams await you when you skip the drinks.
You Might Drop a Few Pounds
Alcohol is mostly carbs, and it can also cause you to crave unhealthy foods after downing a couple. The result? A puffy midsection. Given that consuming alcohol ups one’s empty calorie intake, a few weeks of going without it could have you see your waistline shrinking.
Feel More Energetic
That will aid you in your other resolution to exercise more. Wake up feeling spry and make it through the day without a groggy cloud hanging over your head.
Your Liver Starts to Mend
Your liver has the power to regenerate its own cells and will probably welcome a break from the alcohol. As it breathes a soothing “woo-sah”, you’ll experience a decline in liver fat – which contributes to liver disease – and your metabolism will balance out.
Your Skin Improves
The dehydrating effects of booze not only cause us to feel headachy and sluggish, but can cause your skin to dry out too. Oh, and there’s also the baggy eyes that some folks have going on when they drink too much. No drinking can help keep your skin moisturized and blemish free.
Your Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Levels Can Lower
Depending on your lifestyle, too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. While moderate consumption of red wine has been linked to an elevation of HDL (good cholesterol), imagine what cutting it out can do for your arteries and heart health.
Your Mood and Concentration Gets a Boost
In general, you’ll feel a little less cranky or down in the dumps. Additionally, too much indulging can cause your cortisol (stress hormone) levels to spike. Your spirits may lift when you put down the spirits and your head could feel clearer. Some folks report having improved memory and performance.
Doctors advise people who are heavy drinkers to seek medical advice before embarking on an alcohol abstinence plan, as they could experience withdrawal. For others, you may be wondering what you can do to help yourself keep the bottle on the shelf.
As mentioned earlier, engaging in physical activity is great for the body and mind, so walking or any other form of exercise is useful. If you’re used to drinking socially or living it up at home, try having a mocktail instead.
And a big bonus of a Dry January? More money in your pocket. Drinking can be an expensive habit, so enjoy freeing up those bucks for something else. Docs encourage people to use the time to examine their relationship with booze, and try to make long-lasting healthy choices for good. Bottoms down!