8 Awesome Benefits of Staying on Track with Dry January  267

8 Awesome Benefits of Staying on Track with Dry January 

Dry January is becoming a common New Year’s Resolution, but quitting alcohol for a month can be a difficult task for some people.

If you’ve given up alcohol this January, you may be starting to think about accepting that invitation from a friend or family member to meet for a drink by now.

To encourage you to carry on with the last week of the alcohol-free journey, below are 8 health benefits your body will experience after only a month away from alcohol.

1. Improved sleep.

You may think that you get a better night’s rest when you drink alcohol, as you fall straight into a deep sleep.

However, drinking actually causes you to miss out on the crucial rapid eye movement (REM) stage, which refreshes your brain and stops you from feeling fatigued when you wake up. Even after one week without alcohol, you will be benefitting from a better sleep cycle.

You will be more productive during the day, be able to problem solve better and have more control over your emotions.

2. Better hydration.

Alcohol is well-known for causing dehydration, with your body losing around four times more water than the amount of alcohol you drank.

This loss can affect the functioning of your brain as other organs take its water to continue to work effectively. Going alcohol-free for a month and becoming more hydrated can help you to experience fewer headaches, while also giving your motivation, concentration, and energy a boost.

3. Calories saved.

Many people overlook the fact that alcohol contains a lot of calories.

If you were drinking six 175ml glasses of wine before the start of Dry January, you will have consumed 3800 less calories after four weeks away from alcohol. And, if you were drinking six pints of lager a week, you will have had 4300 less calories.

Naturally, consuming fewer calories can go a long way when trying to lose weight.

After just one week with no alcohol, you will have effectively said no to eating six bags of crisps or five chocolate bars. And after four weeks away from a weekly habit of six 175ml glasses of wine or six pints, you will have saved the same amount of calories as is in 13 burgers or 20 chocolate bars.

4. Blood pressure reduced.

Drinking three or more alcoholic drinks in an evening can temporarily raise blood pressure. And long-term binge drinking can see it increase to an unhealthy level.

After three to four weeks, your blood pressure will start to reduce.

By maintaining steady blood pressure, you can reduce the risk of any related health problems in the future.

5. Better looking skin.

When you drink alcohol, you may notice that your skin can appear lacking in moisture and vitality.

During Dry January, your skin can become more hydrated and skin conditions like eczema can be reduced as more water is able to be absorbed by the body.

6. Recovered liver function.

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After four weeks of removing alcohol from your life, your liver will also thank you.

The fatty cells that can develop in the liver after drinking over a period of time will begin to reduce, falling on average by 15%.

Due to the liver playing a role in over 500 vital bodily processes including storing minerals and vitamins, regulating blood clotting and helping to fight infection, it’s definitely an organ you want to keep in good condition.

7. Reduced acid reflux.

After a couple of weeks of being alcohol-free, troublesome after-effects of drinking including acidic build-up can disappear.

Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can cause heartburn. This creates a burning sensation in the lower chest, an uncomfortable experience which can be reduced when abstaining from alcohol.

8. More money in your pocket.

Alongside the aforementioned health benefits, saving money otherwise spent on alcohol is an additional bonus.

After one week without buying alcohol, you could expect to save enough for two cinema tickets, while abstaining for a month means you will have covered your Netflix bill for a year.

Dry January is a great way of resetting your habitual relationship with alcohol and starting the New Year on a health-boosting high.

People who quit alcohol for a month are 72% more likely to consider reducing their alcohol intake for the next six months.

If you would like to find out more about the health benefits on your body after a month of not drinking, you can read the full article by Priory on ‘The benefits of giving up alcohol for a month’.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.