The hardest part of New Year’s resolutions is that they can be difficult to maintain long-term. It’s easy to go to the gym for a few weeks, but come February, most of us fall off the wagon. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but even small steps toward cultivating healthy habits can have major benefits, and cutting back on alcohol is one step that doesn’t even require leaving the house. If you’re looking for simple ways to care for your mental and physical health in the New Year, it’s not too late to give Dry January a try. Here are some of the benefits you can expect.
Improved Heart Health
Drinking alcohol increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can weaken the heart over time. Research has also shown that when we drink, we’re more likely to consume calorie-dense, high-fat foods, which can put further stress on the heart.
As a diuretic, alcohol dilates blood vessels and causes our bodies to become dehydrated. Not drinking can help to reduce the appearance of redness and keep skin from becoming too dry. Dry skin also produces excess oil, which can lead to acne and inflammation.
Alcohol disrupts REM sleep, which is necessary for learning, memory, and brain development. Taking a break from alcohol allows our bodies and brains to get the rest they need so we can enjoy increased focus and energy levels during the day.