Should You Try ‘Dry January’? Here Are the Health Benefits

Will you give up drinking in January?

By: Amanda Mushro
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474289635

hand reject a glass of beer isolated on white background

Photo by: gulfix

gulfix

After a holiday season of indulging in too much wine, a few too many eggnogs and multiple glasses of Champagne, Dry January can be a great way to avoid alcohol for a few weeks. However, the trend of passing on booze during the first 31 days of the new year actually has a lot of health benefits. From reducing blood pressure to losing weight, here’s why experts say Dry January should be part of your New Year's resolution.

While Dry January started as an initiative by a British charity called Alcohol Change UK, the trend of “ditching the hangover, reducing the waistline and saving some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days” has crossed over to America in a big way. Last year one in five Americans participated in Dry January.

So, after the month of saying “no” to cocktails, how were people feeling? Pretty good actually. According to multiple studies, a month of not drinking can help to lower your blood pressure, reduce diabetes risk, lower cholesterol and reduce levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.

Participants of Dry January have also reported that steering clear of alcohol for a month helped them sleep better, lose weight, save money, see improvements in their skin and hair. They even had more energy throughout the day. According to participants, avoiding alcohol also led to better concentration and moods.

Giving yourself a month off from drinking may even help you have a healthier relationship with drinking the other 11 months of the year. According to the research, over 800 Dry January participants were still drinking less alcohol six months later.

If you are thinking of giving Dry January a try, here are a few ways to set yourself up for success:

Do It with A Friend

Have a friend or family member join you for Dry January. You can motivate each other, celebrate your success and encourage each other to stick to your plan.

Change Up Your Habits

If you tend to grab a glass of wine and watch TV at night, try changing up your routine. Take a shower instead, run errands or go for a walk. Changing up your routine will help you break the habit of settling in for a drink.

Make It Harder to Grab a Bottle

Remove the temptation of pouring a small glass of wine by keeping alcohol out of your house for the month.

Kick Up Your Workout Routine

Go ahead and get two resolutions in at once. Plus, exercising more will help you relax and sleep better too.

Treat Yourself

If having a drink is a way for you to relax, do something for yourself or help you cope with day-to-day stress, now is a great time to find something else that fits this description.

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