Are you planning on giving up alcohol for your New Year's resolution? People traditionally make their New Year's resolutions with the aim of improving their lifestyle or achieving new goals.
According to a YouGov poll, cutting down on alcohol is among the top ten most popular resolutions, with the traditional over-indulging of the holiday period no doubt a key reason behind this.
However - such promises can sometimes be difficult to keep. With this in mind, Dry January aims to raise awareness of the benefits of reducing alcohol intake.
What's the purpose of Dry January?
By challenging people to give up alcohol completely for an entire month, the initiative is aiming to raise awareness of the positive impact this can have on people's wellbeing.
Similar to Movember, Dry January is a way of talking about serious health issues. In this case, the topic is alcohol abuse, with fundraising activities helping to support the charity Alcohol Concern.
The organisation says that just 6.4 per cent of dependent drinkers currently access treatment, something Dry January is hoping to improve.
What are the benefits of giving up drinking?
The advantages of giving up - or at least cutting down - on alcohol range widely.
According to Alcohol Concern, drinking is a causal factor of over 60 illnesses and conditions, some of which include:
- High blood pressure
- Liver cirrhosis
- Liver, stomach, throat and mouth cancer
Cutting down on the amount you drink can impact positively on your finances. After all, if you would normally spend £60 - £70 on a night out, this can be greatly reduced if you're sticking to soft drinks or not drinking to excess.
Reducing your consumption can help you lose weight and improve your own body image. According to Drink Aware, a pint of lager can contain as many calories as a slice of pizza, while a standard glass of wine can represent the equivalent of eating a slice of Madeira cake.
How much alcohol should I be drinking?
Of course, some of the above consequences are extreme outcomes of drinking - and knowing your limits is a key part of ensuring you don't over indulge and cause yourself damage.
The NHS says that between three and four units of alcohol for men and two to three units for women per day is a level associated with a low-risk chance of causing future health problems.
However, different people are affected individually by how and what they drink, so you should bear this in mind when considering whether or not you've had too much.
How do I get involved with Dry January?
If you're interested in taking part in Dry January, you have a couple of options:
- Go it alone and try the challenge without support
- Sign up on the campaign's website to receive an information pack
- Speak to your employer about running a company-wide scheme
Sometimes, the more help you get, the easier the task can become - especially if you are being spurred on by others in the same boat. Why not give it a go?