31 days alcohol free. Dry January: Done. And do you know what? It flew by for me. However I know from speaking with friends who have also been taking part that it’s not plain sailing for everyone. If it was tough going for you but you persevered to the end, then it’s a gentlemanly tip of the cap from me…and Jay Z.
If you read my first post, you’ll know that I’m no longer a huge drinker but I certainly was during my time at university and the years after. That post included two photos of me at uni which were excellent and embarrassing in equal measure. So I thought there was no need to change a winning formula, so you’ll be treated/subjected to two more in this post. Here’s a beauty right off the bat, and you’ll get another treat for the eyes later…Now I could sit here and say “hey bro, put that beer down for a month and you’ll feel awesome” but A) I don’t talk like that, and B) anyone with a keyboard and access to Google could do that. I wanted to share the tangible benefits that I’ve noticed over the last 31 days.
I’ve been wearing a Jawbone Up 3 since the start of the month which has helped me monitor my sleep. My first post focused on this, but the short version is that my sleep has really improved. Just take a look at this 3 day stint towards the end of the month:
Under (Blood) Pressure
Ok so this isn’t something that I actually noticed. I don’t know anyone who wakes up and says “Oooh my blood pressure feels today.” Being a “health freak” (I hate that term as being healthy is far from freaky, but you know exactly what I mean when I say it), my blood pressure was relatively good to begin with. At the start of the month, the reading was 126/70. My final check was on 28th January and it had gone down to 115/67. A reduction in blood pressure, provided it’s in the right bracket, is only ever going to be a good thing.I Like to Move It Move It
Ever woken up on a Monday after having a few drinks on the Saturday and felt a bit lethargic? Yep, me too. Even if I have one or two drinks I really notice it in the 24-48 hours afterwards. Waking up and feeling fresh every day is something not to be sniffed at. Sometimes, feeling “normal” can be under-appreciated. I’m an energetic person as it is so it’s been great to have that sustained energy throughout the month and to feel normal. The Jawbone band also helps with this – if I’ve had a day where my step count has been lower that it should be, it’s prompted me to get up off my backside and go walking. That’s where fitness bands can really help you get into a healthier mindset.
Sum It Up, Buttercup
Would I recommend doing Dry January? Yes, 100%, but it doesn’t have to just be January. Not consuming alcohol for a few weeks (or months) at any point across the year is only going to benefit you. Your body will certainly thank you for it in more ways than one, and your wallet appreciate it too.
My advice would be to develop a healthy relationship with drink, and with food for that matter. You can learn a lot about your body by removing certain foods or drink from your diet. Everyone is different. The key is to learn how your body reacts to certain things and to use that as a platform to build from.
Oh and in true Columbo fashion, one more thing…