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Published on: 26-Jan-2022

Dr. Brian Cole, Podcast
Dr. Brian Cole, Podcast

Sports Medicine Weekly Podcast

The Sports Enthusiast’s Official Resource for Fitness, Nutrition Injury Prevention and Treatment

DRY JANUARY: EXTEND THE HEALTHY HABIT

Weight Loss

Alcohol can be very caloric, and the calories are empty with no beneficial nutrients. Cutting back on drinking is one of the quickest ways to reduce unnecessary calories.

Improved Sleep

Alcohol inhibits sleep quality, compromising the deep, REM sleep that makes you feel rested. Quality sleep can strengthen neuronal connections and enhance learning, problem-solving and mental performance.

Improved Brain Function

Of course, alcohol affects the brain while you are under the influence, but it can also lead to long-term cognitive decline. Reducing consumption can lead to better focus and concentration.

Enhanced Immunity

Alcohol suppresses the healthy immune function, leaving you more exposed to colds, flu, and viruses. It can impair both the innate ​‘first line of defense’ immunity, as well as the adaptive ​‘seek and destroy’ arm.

Improved Mental Health

While a glass of wine or cocktail may help take the edge off after a tough day, alcohol is a depressant that may actually increase feelings of stress and anxiety.

Dry January can be a useful exercise if you consider it the start of a healthy new habit that continues throughout the entire year. Try to integrate new habits into your lifestyle by setting a certain number of dry days per week, or capping your drinking to 1 or 2 glasses when you do indulge. While the “all or nothing” approach is not always ideal, it can be a valuable first step to improving your health!


Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center

The post Dry January: Extend the Healthy Habit appeared first on Sports Medicine Weekly.