Well, New Year’s is in the rearview mirror. Did you set (and keep) those resolutions, crush those fitness goals, and successfully conquer “Dry January?” Hopefully, you did! While you’re sticking to those resolutions and new fitness regimens, why not explore teetotalism, or abstaining from alcohol completely, beyond the month of January?
What? You missed the boat on Dry January? No problem! Dry January doesn’t even have to be done in January. Get creative and do a Dry February, Dry March, Dry April, and more. In this article, we will tell you about some of the benefits of doing a “Dry [insert your favorite month here] and share some reasons why it may make sense to keep the teetotalism trend going for even longer.
What is Dry January?
First, what is Dry January? Alcohol Change UK’s Dry January campaign “helps people to reset their relationship with alcohol.” The idea is that by abstaining from drinking for 31 days, people will achieve health benefits, feel better overall, and increase their awareness of the effects of alcohol.
As an added bonus, according to Alcohol Change UK, during Dry January, 86% of participants save money, 70% of participants have better sleep and 66% have more energy. What’s not to love about that?
READ MORE: Benefits of a Month Long “Booze Break” For Dry January
Defining the Terms: Teetotalism vs. Drinking in Moderation
Per Merriam-Webster, teetotalism is the principle or practice of complete abstinence from alcoholic drinks.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drinking in moderation (for those of legal age to do so) means limiting intake to two drinks or less in a day for men and one drink or less in a day for women. This probably goes without saying, but drinking less is better than drinking more.
READ MORE: 6 Fun Mocktail Recipes for Fall
Teetotalism as a Way of Life
When taking part in Dry January, participants often report physical health benefits, such as less aches and pains, improved digestion, clearer skin, and more energy. This is because the body is more hydrated and fighting off less inflammation.
Hearing about the benefits is one thing, but once you experience them firsthand after not drinking for 31 days, this is when teetotalism really can become more attractive. After all, when you’re feeling this good, why wouldn’t you want to feel this way all the time? Guess what? You can!
New Teetotalism Fitness Routines
Once you’ve abstained from alcohol for several weeks, you may find that you wake up easier in the mornings. While you may still be a bit groggy without that morning cup of coffee, you can say buh-bye to hangovers. There’s no brain fog either. Forget about difficulty getting going in the morning.
Additionally, because doing a “dry” month is most popular in January, New Year’s resolutions, new fitness routines, and a fresh, can-do outlook are all often nicely aligned. While you’re already set up for success with some additional motivation, like getting into better shape physically, this is a wonderful time to try to keep a new teetotalism trend going.
READ MORE: Establishing Family Fitness Habits that Last
Teetotalism Savings Can Add Up
So with teetotalism, now you are feeling better healthwise, have more energy, and are working out more. Great news: You are also likely saving money. Imagine buying just one bottle of wine a week for around $15. Multiplied over the course of a year, that works out to nearly $800! That is not counting having a drink while dining out, a fancy special occasion bottle of wine, multiple bottles of wine for a crowd, or other types of alcohol like beer, seltzer, or hard liquor. All of this can really add up!
Not to mention, there are significant healthcare savings to be realized by taking better care of your overall health and well-being over the long run. And you can’t put a price on that!
READ MORE: New Year, New You! How to Stick to Your Resolutions Beyond January
Teetotalism Health Benefits
Last but certainly not least, there are immediate health benefits to abstaining from alcohol. According to Healthline, the liver actually begins to recover and repair itself within just a couple of weeks of being alcohol-free. Enzymes within the body that are important to cardiovascular function also begin to normalize, reducing the potential for cardiovascular disease. When you begin to cut back on alcohol over the long term, several cancer risks are also reduced.
We mentioned higher energy levels earlier, and the ability to start and keep up with a more regular fitness routine. Another benefit to living a teetotalism lifestyle is weight loss. Alcoholic drinks can be very high in calories, and they can add up when consuming multiple drinks in a sitting. When cutting alcoholic drinks (and these calories) out completely, and switching to a healthy zero-calorie option such as water, you may see some weight start to drop.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to extending a trial run at a “dry month” and giving teetotalism an honest effort. Not only will your energy levels and wallet thank you, but you stand to gain even more health benefits, such as improved liver function, cardiovascular health, and even weight loss.
If you didn’t take part in Dry January this year, that’s OK – maybe you want to give it a try now to see how you feel. Talk to your doctor or health professional, then get going. You just may like how the first 30+ days feel and want to make a more significant teetotalism choice. And if not, that’s totally OK, too!
WANT TO READ MORE?
If you’re starting that teetotalism lifestyle and seeking a calm, relaxing beverage option to enjoy, check out Chamomile Benefits: It Is More Than Just Tea.
CONNECT WITH DAILY MOM
💖 NEWSLETTER: DAILY READS IN YOUR INBOX 💖
Sign up to receive our picks for the best things to do, see and buy so you can relax and focus on more important tasks! Let us help you be the best version of yourself you can be!