Don’t bottle it up
We all have something to gain by drinking less alcohol. Cutting down on alcohol gives a sliding scale of health benefits: even people drinking very little can reap health rewards by cutting down on a glass or two.
Jenny, who is in her late 20s and lives with her partner in Islington, probably didn’t fit the stereotypical picture of someone who should look at their drinking habits. Yet, after taking an alcohol test she found she should be drinking less.
Jenny said: “I only used to have a couple of glasses of wine, mainly on weekends, although sometimes it happened in the week. I thought this amount was probably ok as I hadn’t experienced horrendous hangovers since university.”
After meeting a community lifestyle trainer at an event and taking a quick alcohol test Jenny discovered that the amount she was drinking could be damaging her health. She had also just been told she had high blood pressure for her age.
The trainer explained that drinking above the weekly guidelines could be increasing Jenny’s blood pressure and putting strain on her heart. After that Jenny decided to cut back on alcohol and stick to the national guidelines.
Fast forward six months when Jenny was regularly drinking within the guidelines, and she took the alcohol test again and scored lower risk.
Alice, a senior community lifestyle trainer, says: “There are lots of benefits to cutting down our alcohol intake, from better sleep to more positive relationships to big improvements in our health. It’s not about total abstinence (unless that is what you want); it’s about having information so that we can all make informed choices on our drinking, especially whilst we are still in control.
“The key to successfully cutting down is simple: make small, but important, changes in your attitude towards drinking. Lots of little changes can add up to big change in your lifestyle.”
If you would like to follow Jenny’s lead and get the year off to a great start: