So, you’re thinking about taking a break from drinking. Good for you! Whether you’re considering giving up booze for good, or you just want to take a little time off to reset your body and give your liver a bit of a breather, you should know that any decision to drink less is a good thing.
We know that alcohol is high in calories and it messes with our metabolism, plus drinking excessively can have a huge impact on our mental health as well (hello, Sunday morning anxiety!), as we often do things we regret after a few too many drinks.
But giving up alcohol is tough, so if you’re looking for a little motivation to help you reach your goals, we asked Laura Bajurny from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation to run us through some of the incredible health benefits associated with quitting alcohol.
You’ll Sleep Better
Laura says there are a whole range of health benefits that come with giving up alcohol, including getting more good quality sleep each night.
“What people will notice is that they’re sleeping better. A lot of people think alcohol helps them sleep better, but it actually prevents you from having a more deep sleep,” she explained.
“They’re going to wake up feeling more refreshed, possibly in a better mood.”
You’ll Have More Motivation to Exercise
A hangover is the ultimate motivation-killer. Who feels like working out when they’ve had a night of drinking?
So going without alcohol can encourage you to move your body.
“A positive flow-on effect [of quitting alcohol] is exercise,” Laura said.
“If you’re waking up with more energy, you might be more inclined to hit the gym, or go to yoga.”
According to Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. “For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week”
You’ll Make Better Food Choices
“The other flow-on effect is nutrition,” Laura said.
“If you’re waking up feeling refreshed and energized and not hungover, you’re less likely to easily greasy or unhealthy foods. You’ll definitely be cutting out a lot of late-night fries!”
You’ll Save Money
Alcohol is expensive, and we’re more likely to ditch our strict budgets and indulge ourselves after a few drinks when our guards are down and our discipline goes out the window.
“Having more money in your account at the end of the month is another huge bonus,” Laura said.
You’ll do More Cool Stuff, Rather Than Always Socializing at The Pub
“People can have more social variety,” Laura suggests.
“Instead of just going out for drinks, people have time to do other tasks, rediscover an old hobby, take up a sport, a whole range of things that aren’t just going to a bar.”
You’ll Drastically Rethink Your Relationship With Alcohol
“One of the real benefits of these one-month campaigns like Dry January, is they get people really having the conversation about the role that alcohol plays in our lives, particularly socially. I’ve heard people say it made them a lot more aware of how common alcohol is and how many of them really focus on it,” Laura said.
“The real benefit to these campaigns is normalizing alcohol abstinence. We need to normalize not drinking as a lifestyle choice.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love