'Dry January' promotes health going into the new year

NOW: ’Dry January’ promotes health going into the new year

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- For those that set New Year’s resolutions this year, Sunday marks one week down with their new goals. For many, that means finishing up their first week of ‘Dry January’.

Most people participate in ‘Dry January’ as a way to take a break from alcohol after the holidays. What they may not realize however, are that the benefits of staying sober for one month can last well into the year!

“The condition of your skin, the increased amount of energy that you have,” says Alan Berki, a Drug and Alcohol Counselor at Cleveland Clinic.

Medical professional say taking a break from alcohol can help you sleep better, as well as elevate your mood and energy levels.

According to a study found in BMJ Open reported by the Washington Post, people who stopped drinking for a month saw significantly improved metabolism, as well as lower blood pressure, lower levels of insulin resistance, and even weight loss.

“If you’re not replacing the alcohol with candy or sweets because you may start to crave those a little more if you stop drinking, you’ll definitely experience weight loss,” Berki says.

Researchers also found that people who didn’t drink in January were drinking less alcohol in general months later, as compared to people who didn’t participate.

If drinking alcohol is a hard habit to break, a Drug and Alcohol Counselor recommends avoiding situations that encourage the behavior.

“The best thing to do is to avoid the situations,” Berki suggests. “If at all possible, not hang out in bars, or nightclubs, or go to parties where there’s going to be heavy alcohol use.”

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