The year 2015 has come to an end and we hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and we would like to wish you a happy new year. Looking back over the past year there have been a lot of changes and many things to celebrate. Ringing in the New Year with the Be You Promise in the forefront has made us even more excited and hopeful for what 2016 may bring.
With a new year ahead of us, we invite you to think about the ways you could make changes to the best that you can be. We know it can be easy to lose track of all the healthy promises we made to ourselves during the holidays, but instead of fretting about past decisions, remember that it is never too late to make a change. From the minute you decide to make healthier life choices, both your mind and your body can begin to recover from the negative effects drugs and alcohol may have caused.
For example, did you know that within 20 minutes of your last cigarette your blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal? Within 8 hours, the nicotine within your bloodstream has reduced by about 83% and within 12 hours your blood oxygen levels have returned to normal. By 48 hours damaged nerve endings have started to regrow, so sense of smell and taste are returning to normal and by 72 hours, your entire body will test 100% nicotine free. Only three days after quitting smoking and your body has been busy repairing itself so that it can get back to its healthiest state possible, and it only keeps going. By two weeks your risk of a heart attack has started to drop, lung function begins to improve, and anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and depression related to quitting should be ending. By one month, smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue, or shortness of breath has decreased and lungs have been repaired to the point that they are better able to stay clean and reduce infections.
The body does something similar when we make the decision to stop drinking alcohol. Studies examining the changes in physical and mental well-being of individuals who stopped drinking found numerous health benefits to quitting alcohol. Within one month individuals show decreased cholesterol, glucose levels and liver fat, which means their risk for cirrhosis, liver disease, diabetes, and heart disease has significantly decreased. Individuals also had noticeable weight loss, better sleep, increased concentration, and therefore reported increased work performance, energy, and an overall increased feeling of well-being. What is even more exciting is that the brain also starts to repair itself and within a period of 2 months individuals can start noticing improvements in their cognitive functioning such as memory, mental flexibility, reaction times, and learning abilities.
So what’s the take home message? It is never too late to make the healthy choice to stop using alcohol and/or drugs. Your body is ready to recover; all you have to do is decide to start. So begin the New Year off right by taking the Dry Jan – 31 day challenge to “lose the booze” for the month of January and start 2016 being the best you possible. Visit GoDryJan.com for details.