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Go Sober for October: 5 tips and wellness benefits

Thinking of taking the Go Sober challenge this October? Read these five tips to ensure that you become a 'sober hero' as well as five wellness benefits of taking part

by Psychologies

Founder of MK HealthHub, Matt Kendrick, is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October fundraising challenge this year. Matt has over twenty years of experience in the health and fitness sector and has travelled the world to study the very best methods in strength and conditioning, Pilates and nutrition. 

5 tips for doing Go Sober

1. Get a friend to do it with you – You’re far more likely to succeed in your sober challenge with the support of a fellow sober hero, so get your friends to do it with you. If you do find yourself feeling tempted to give up, it’ll make a big difference if you have someone there to motivate you, rather than tempt you to a glass of wine!

2. Don’t leave yourself open to temptation – October can be a busy month for the social calendar, so make sure you plan in advance and focus on activities that don’t necessarily involve alcohol. As opposed to going for a drink after work on a Friday, why not plan a trip to the cinema? If you get this booked in advance, you’re more likely to avoid temptation.

3. Kick-start a healthier lifestyle – Seeing as you’re already taking a break from alcohol, why not take it one step further and see if you can add improvements to your diet and current exercise regime. This will not only enhance your energy levels and overall wellbeing from the get-go, but also ensure that you stay motivated and on track.

4. Get creative – There are so many different nutritious and exciting non-alcoholic juices and smoothies that are easy to make – why not use Go Sober as an opportunity to experiment with different ingredients and learn something new. This could be a great way to try out juicing and add health-boosting nutrients into your diet. Your immune system will be grateful of the additional vitamins once the cold season has arrived.

5. Remember why you’re doing it – Remember that you are doing something amazing for people affected by cancer - all money raised by Go Sober goes to Macmillan to help ensure that no one faces cancer alone.

5 wellness benefits of taking part

1. Healthier life choices – Alcohol can have an erratic effect on your blood sugar levels, causing highs and lows almost instantaneously, which set you up for sweet cravings and poor food choices. Taking a break from alcohol should allow you to make better food choices, which in turn will help bring your blood sugar levels back into balance.

2. Better quality of sleep – While alcohol might help some people get to sleep, for most people it reduces how long they sleep, thus having a negative effect on energy levels. For the first week you may notice that your sleeping pattern changes slightly, so you may be tired, but the quality of sleep you get is set to improve. This in turn will help ensure better focus and mental clarity throughout the day.

3. Better Hydration – Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that your kidneys produce more urine, which can lead to dehydration. Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine - if you are chronically dehydrated your kidneys may stop working properly, causing toxins to build up in the body.

4. Losing weight – Research shows that each gram of alcohol contains seven calories - they’re empty calories as well, since alcohol has no nutritional value. If you are watching your weight, think of the calories you’ll save by going a month without it. At the beginning of November, look forward to not only feeling better overall, but also being a few pounds lighter as well!

5. A fresh approach to alcohol – Breaking the habit of drinking alcohol on a regular basis enables you to adopt a much more balanced approach to your alcohol intake. Remember – moderation is always key!

For more information, head to gosober.org.uk

Photograph: iStock

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