Dr. Carrie Connett of CMC Primary Care, Prince Creek, offers her insight to the benefits of participating in Dry January (or any other month of the year!). Dr. Connett shares, “Dry January is mentally and physically a great way to kick off the year! The endless holiday parties invariably result it excess calories. For some people this also includes added stress. Abstaining from alcohol during the month of January is an easy way to eliminate empty calories and assist in weight loss goals. People may notice improved energy, better quality of sleep, less depression, and less anxiety just a few weeks after alcohol cessation.”
Your body can use all the help it can get to fight against cold and flu season
Dr. Connett also adds, “historically, January is a month of coughs and colds. Alcohol can lower the immune system making it harder to fight off these infections, including Covid-19. Dry January gives you an opportunity to start a new year with a clear mind and improved focus to achieve your personal goals. Abstaining from alcohol also creates an awareness of your personal drinking pattern. Pushing pause on drinking for just 30 days provides an opportunity to evaluate your relationship with alcohol to assure long term healthy patterns.” Talk to your CMC Primary Care Provider about the benefits of eliminating or reducing your alcohol intake.
According to the Mayo Clinic “The immediate effect of alcohol may be calming. As alcohol is processed by your body it can make you edgy. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep.” There are many healthy and delicious alternatives to an evening cocktail. Enjoy a sparkling water on the rocks in a special glass, with a twist of lime for a fun and delicious mocktail that won’t leave you feeling groggy the next day. Try swapping out your glass of wine for a relaxing cup of warm herbal tea.
How to fill your new found free-time
You may even find that you have more free time (and money) on your hands! Consider swapping out your weekly happy hour for coffee with friends, reading a book, walking, taking up a new hobby, or volunteering.
-According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use can lead to increased risk of health problems such as injuries, violence, liver disease and cancer. Please consult your healthcare provider if you or someone you know, needs help with addiction. *The CDC warns, “There is no safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome.”
Dr. Carrie Connett, CMC Primary Care Prince Creek