As we bid farewell to 2019 and look forward to not just a new year but the dawn of a new decade many of us reflect on what we would like to do differently.
Personal health and fitness are usually top of our lists. Gym memberships are renewed, walking and cycling gear dusted down and dieting groups joined.
Yet there is one other healthy lifestyle choice which will not only help you lose weight but also save money, improve sleep patterns and long-term health and well-being.
Simply sign up to Dry January, kick the booze for a month and reset your relationship with alcohol.
It doesn’t cost a penny — in fact last year 88% of participants saved money!
And the benefits didn’t stop there, with 71% of participants reporting improved sleep patterns and 58% losing weight.
Plus research published in the British Medical Journal in 2018, showed that a month off booze lowers blood pressure, reduces diabetes risk, lowers cholesterol and reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
And you won’t be doing it alone — in 2018, four million people enjoyed the benefits of a Dry January.
The campaign, which was launched by Alcohol Change in 2013 with just 4,000 participants, is now a popular way for people from all walks of life to improve their relationship with alcohol.
Whether you like a few beers at the weekend, a couple of glasses of wine to unwind after work or a heavy session with your pals, taking one month out can make a huge difference to your health.
And the benefits don’t just disappear at the end of January. Research shows that Dry January participants are still drinking less six months later.
This has long term benefit for all aspects of health as alcohol is linked with over 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer.
In fact, alcohol is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15–49 in the UK.
Cutting back on alcohol reduces your risk of developing these conditions.
So if you’re interested in a new you for the new year but you’re not sure where to start, check out Alcohol Change’s Dry January Toolkit.
You can download a free Dry January app to your phone which helps you track the units, calories and money you’re saving.
And read how others are coping with the challenge in their Dry January blog which also has lots of tips, advice and alcohol-free reviews.
If you’re struggling to stay off the booze and looking for some extra support or wanting help to make this a long-term life change give us a call at DACA.
Our team of staff and volunteers have helped thousands of people from our community over the years and we’re here to help you too.
Just call us on 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.
And don’t wait until January to sign-up, download the app now or add your name to the millions of others who will be starting 2020 on a healthier footing, sign up now. Let us know how you get on — we’re rooting for you.