Amidst all the New Year Resolutions and desire to work off the Christmas feasting, one campaign promises to encourage people to both lose weight and feel better - the Dryathlon campaign run in conjunction with Cancer Research. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to give up drinking alcohol during the month of January. They can be sponsored to raise money for cancer research and the campaign encourages people to realise how much better they could feel if they were to reduce their alcohol intake.
Dryathlon first took place in January 2013. The campaign has been very popular with men aged 25 - 45, the target group. It had 35,000 participants in its first year and raised £4.5m for the charity. It uses social media to help spread the message and encourage participants to engage with the campaign and abstain from alcohol during the month.
The campaign encourages participants to sign up either as a team with their mates or solo. They are encouraged to send in their stories and read about other people taking part in Dryathlon. Should people have a big night out or slip up one weekend, they can pay a tipple tax of £20 through Just Giving to Cancer Research.
There are big benefits to giving up alcohol which include saving money, losing weight and feeling more healthy as well as no longer suffering from hangovers. The charity suggest that people make small healthier changes to their eating habits and lifestyle for maximum benefit. Giving up alcohol can have a big impact on weight loss: a pint of beer at 3-4% has two units of alcohol and is 182 calories. Alcohol can also increase appetite - people often eat more when they have had a drink.
It is not too late to join the Dryathlon campaign if you would like to reduce your alcohol consumption. Changing habits is a difficult thing to do, so here are some tips:
- Plan ahead. If you know that you are going to be in a situation where you will be tempted, then make some changes to ensure success. Make sure that the friends that you are going out with will know what you are doing and are supportive.
- Keep going. Celebrate each day that you have not had alcohol and keep a count.
- Track your success and know how well you are doing
- Use the time that you would have been drinking to take up a new hobby, preferably one that you enjoy and that will keep you active.
Spending the first month of 2016 thinking about alcohol and how to reduce your consumption will help you to have a happier and healthier new year.
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