Dry January and Love Your Liver

Don't drink

Happy New year!

With the new year upon us we find ourselves once again at the perennial time of resolutions and resurrected health regimes. Smokers that missed or failed the Stoptober Challenge will no doubt be attempting to quit cigarettes. Those looking to loose their additional Christmas flab will be out booking the gym membership they were too busy to sort out in 2013. If you held to the tradition of making a resolution for the new year then it’s at least still fresh in the memory, even if it hasn’t yet been acted upon.

Tapping into this emergent mindset we find Cancer Research UK promoting their Dryathlon a challenge running throughout January to abstain from alcohol to fund-raise for their worthy cause. Whilst some cynics find this yet another selfie driven social media bandwagon the pertinent fact that last year some 35,000 participants raised over £4 million during Dry January (Dryathlon) highlight it’s success.

Whatever your opinion on social media driven awareness months and charity drives they are certainly gaining popularity. Men’s health charity month Movember for instance has seen continuous growth in it’s participating membership, rising to a total of 4 million in 2013.

A definite drawback of the social media events calendar is that we are limited to only 12 months with a much larger number of worthy bodies all vying for your attention. During January the British Liver Trust is also running it’s Love Your Liver campaign which although lacking the image crafting, selfie pizzazz of the Dryathlon has important health issues to raise.

Not unlike the challenge put forward by the Dryathlon, the Love Your Liver campaign promotes three simple steps to a healthier liver which resonate well in post-festive surroundings:

  • Keep off alcohol for 2-3 days in a row
  • Take more exercise and stay fit
  • Cut down on sugar and fat

For many this may already be their exhaustive new years resolution list and it’s certainly one with more achievable goals than a Dryathlon, which runs the risk of creating a resurgent February booze binge.

This said both events raise much needed money for good causes in the UK whilst also giving the general public an encouraging push to starting off the new year on the right foot.


Express Chemist

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