After the excess of the festive season, why not give your body and mind the chance to recover by taking part in Dry January in 2018?
For those who missed the memo, Dry January is an annual movement where millions of people give up alcohol for 31 days during January. It is a chance to take control of your relationship with alcohol, improve your health and energy levels and save money. This year, local health experts are promoting the event and helping to explain the many benefits of giving up or reducing your alcohol intake.
Clinical Chair of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Martin Jones said, “After the Christmas and new year’s eve festivities, this is the perfect time for people to think about their drinking habits and make a fresh start. Dry January is a great way to have a break from alcohol at a time when many other people are doing the same. After just a few days of being alcohol free, you can start to enjoy the many benefits which include improved health and fitness, greater concentration and better quality sleep.
“If you don’t want to give up drinking alcohol entirely, you can also reduce your alcohol intake to have a positive impact on your health. Drinking more than the recommended allowance of 14 units of alcohol per week increases the risk of many common diseases such as liver disease and several types of cancer. The 14 units equates to about 6 pints of beer or 6 glasses of wine. We would also advise that you spread your drinking out over at least three days, limiting the total amount you drink on any one occasion.
“Excess alcohol consumption also has a large impact on the NHS. There were more than 3,000 hospital stays for alcohol related harm in Bristol last year. Nationally, it is estimated that alcohol related harm costs the NHS £3.5 billion each year and reduced levels of alcohol consumption could really help us to reduce the strain on NHS services.
“Why not take up the challenge this January and see what benefits an alcohol free month can bring for you?”
People around the region are now planning to use the opportunity to try something new. You could sign up to take part in a sporting event to get fit or start a new hobby. You could also use the money you save on alcohol to treat yourself to something new.
You can find out more about the Dry January campaign and sign up to take part online at www.dryjanuary.org.uk, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DryJanuary or follow the latest on Twitter using @DryJanuary.