Thousands Flock To To Ditch Alcohol In New Year

The Irish Heart Foundation’s second annual On The Dry campaign supported by 2FM has attracted nearly 3,000 registrants over the Christmas period so far from people looking to make a fresh, alcohol-free start in 2016.

On The Dry Campaign

On The Dry Campaign

In a survey of last year’s participants, 62% said they had better sleep and more energy after taking part, 49% reported losing weight, 79% saved money and 82% said they felt a sense of achievement.

According to organisers the campaign is on target to more than double its participation on last year aiming to top 4,000 sign ups from individuals, teams and workplaces. January 2015 was the first time a ‘Dry January’ style campaign ran in Ireland.

Already Dublin, Cork and Galway are the counties topping the registrations to give up alcohol this January and raise money for a good cause, while registrations from Wexford are coming in as a close fourth with just five sign ups between it and Galway.

On Christmas Day, although most visitors to came from Dublin, the most serious about taking action to give up alcohol on 25thDecember were from Mallow, Ennis, Carlow and Bray, all of which had the highest conversion rates to sign up.

With New Year’s Day fast approaching, the national charity continues to encourage the nation to join the revolution in resolutions and get sponsored by friends to give up alcohol for 31 days in January to make a healthy kick-start in the New Year.

2FM’s Keith Walsh who is set to host New Year Live from Three Arena with Kathryn Thomas on 31st December, is ready to go On The Dry the next day. He said: “I like a drink but I also like to have periods where I don’t drink. Not drinking in January is a great way to start the year with a clear head. I got involved with Dry January hoping to encourage others to take down time out from drinking, ‘cause not drinking is the new drinking!”

Earlier this month, equipped with copious cups of tea, 2FM’s Breakfast Republic crew Jennifer Maguire, Keith Walsh and Bernard O’Shea joined the inimitable Father Ted actor Frank Kelly to launch the On The Dry campaign and steer the nation away from alcohol for the month of January.

Meanwhile in the southeast, RTE correspondent Damien Tiernan hopes to rally his local counties to join him in a month of abstinence from alcohol and he said: “’The Irish Heart Foundation’s initiative is brilliant and I hope tens of thousands of people across the country take up the challenge. It’s such a simple thing to do and yet for many it will be a challenge. The more people you tell, the more likely you are to do it.”

According to the Irish Heart Foundation, if you’re serious about losing weight in the New Year, you will be more successful if you cut out alcohol altogether until you reach your target weight which makes On The Dry an ideal launch pad to a healthier body weight, along with a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity. To avoid regaining weight lost, gradually resume alcohol consumption and do not exceed 11 standard drinks per week if you are a woman and 17, if you are a man.

Caroline Cullen, from the Irish Heart Foundation said: “Giving your body a break after the party season is a great way to kick-start a healthy new year, plus reducing your alcohol consumption will help you feel better all round. It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to take the plunge to a healthier you.

“The act of physically signing up now to will help you feel committed to your New Year’s resolution but the real magic is making it known to your family and friends. By asking for sponsorship, you’re much more likely to stick to it and get the health benefits you want.”

Funds from On the Dry™ will go directly to help prevent heart disease and stroke which is responsible for the biggest loss of life in Ireland annually. Monies raised from On The Dry will support the Irish Heart Foundation’s prevention programmes for children, adults and local communities which are vital to keep more hearts beating around Ireland.

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