Hop on the wagon this month to better health

Local News

“New year, new me” is a popular saying people cling to each January. Some may decide to head back to the gym or cut back on spending. Others may be participating in “Dry January”.

The idea is to cut out alcohol this month, which could potentially provide some mental, physical and even financial benefits.

“Dry January can save people money if they have New Years resolutions that are financial-based,” Hy-vee Dietician Katie Schaeffer said. “It might help with some weight loss if you are one of those people that when you start drinking, you’ve had maybe more than you intended to.”

Schaeffer noted that “sometimes you get the munchies late at night, so it kind of helps with avoiding that. And typically, people go out to drink or their drinking kind of later in the evening, so if you made a new year’s resolution to sleep more, less drinking might help with that.”

While most people who participate in dry January have no intention of quitting alcohol for good, experts say there are benefits of short-term sobriety.

“I think dry January can show you that there are a lot of other things that are fun to do; things that will help you drink a little bit less just for the weekend,” Schaeffer said. Schaeffer added that the recommend daily alcohol consumption is typically no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.

In a new study that examined data from 2018 to 2020, many states saw as much as a 20% to 40% spike in sales of alcohol at the beginning of the pandemic.

Although this challenge started on the first of the month, people can still choose to participate now. Schaeffer noted that there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on shelves at Hy-vee If people would like to still drink socially.

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