Dry July isn’t just about raising money for and awareness of cancer. It’s about challenging people to give up something that might be part of their regular lives. A lot of people don’t think twice about having a drink or two, and Dry July is a great opportunity to stop and reflect on our own drinking habits and how they may affect our health.
Read on for a little extra motivation if you are undertaking Dry July.
Alcohol consumption has been identified as a possible risk factor for a range of illnesses such as cancers, heart health, the health of your immune system and of course liver function. Increased alcohol consumption may lead to these health issues, or could contribute to other risk factors such as being overweight or obese. At a practical level, it is much harder to get up and exercise in the morning if you have a hangover, which means sticking to those good routines is all the more difficult. Dropping the nightly drink could have you springing out of bed each morning!
Alcohol can play havoc on your circadian rhythms and lead to a decrease in REM sleep (which is the really good sleep that helps your body to restore and repair). Not only that, but you’ll be tired – which makes everything else just thatlittle bit harder. Drinking less can lead to more sleep, and better sleep and therefore more energy during the waking hours.
As we just mentioned, if you’re sleeping better you’ll probably more energised. Drinking alcohol can deplete your vitamin B supply – and you really need that vitamin B for sustained energy. Vitamin B also helps with the health of your cells, your eyes, your brain and your nerves (so everything really). More energy means you can do more exercise, improving your cardiovascular health and you’ll also be in a better frame of mind to deal with whatever life throws at you.
Alcohol is dehydrating, drying out your skin giving you a tired and weathered look. No one wants to look old before their time, so swap out the alcohol for water and you’ll find your skin is plumper, softer and younger looking in no time. Water also helps with all sorts of things in your body, such as keeping your regular and helping with headaches. Not only that, it’s free and readily available! (Just turn on the tap!)
Now that you are drinking less (or not at all) you’ll find that your exercise levels are probably on the way up. But don’t worry, you’ll also probably find that your body copes much better with this, with faster muscle recovery. Some of it goes back to that hydration we were talking about earlier. Better muscle recovery means less chance of injury so you’ll be out there again and again, improving your fitness and smashing those goals.
Many turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma or stress (or even just a bad day in the office). Next time you’ve had a bad day and look towards that bottle of wine, why not change your mindset and try something else such as going for a walk or doing some yoga. You may find that after a while your alternative response is actually far more effective in managing stress and you prefer it to a glass of something anyway.
Forget Dutch courage – there’s nothing like empowerment through health and well-being to make you feel confident in yourself. Take off the beer goggles and you’ll find that not only will you have more authentic connections with others but you’ll still enjoy yourself just as much (if not more).
So if supporting the cause of Dry July isn’t enough of an incentive for you to give the alcohol a break perhaps one of these reasons will convince you to give it a go.
Don’t forget to support Dry July this month.
This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately dial Triple 0 (000).