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Julie Thompson, Customer Services Officer for Durham County Council, has signed up to do Dry January to improve her health and fitness. She has also encouraged her niece, who runs, to join her in being booze free for 31 days.

Julie said: “I am really into keeping fit and go to the gym several times a week. However, I was conscious that I’d often come home from the gym start to cook tea and have a glass of wine while cooking, then have another glass with my food. I realised this meant I was having two glasses of wine at least three to four nights a week, and sometimes I would feel tired and sluggish the next day.

“When work suggested people sign up to take part in Dry January, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on my relationship with alcohol and to see if I would notice a difference from going booze free. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will affect me as last year my cousin did it and felt fantastic. It’s funny as I remember at the time telling him I couldn’t think of anything worse, but now I can’t think of anything better to do in January. I’m so pleased I have signed up this year.

“I am looking forward to seeing the benefits of not drinking for a month. It will be great to wake up feeling fresh and more energetic throughout January. I am also hoping that by cutting down on alcohol it will help improve my fitness. I know there are a lot of calories in wine. I can’t wait to improve my health and well-being during Dry January and I’m hoping to maintain this after the challenge is complete.

“Doing Dry January is not just about giving up alcohol for the month and then going back to drinking the rest of the year. It’s about changing the way you think and not drinking as much. As well as the health benefits I’m hoping that I will save money.

“My advice for anyone doing it this year is to persevere, don’t give up at the first hurdle. Take up a new hobby, go to the gym and get active. Think about how much better you will feel at the end of the month and how much you will have saved.”

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