Retirement and Alcohol: Facts About Drinking
by Kari Lloyd
If you are getting ready to retire, you might enjoy the idea of lounging in your living room with a good book and a glass of wine every afternoon. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with unwinding from time to time, and after working for decades you’ve earned the right to enjoy your retirement, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on your alcohol consumption. After all, a single glass of wine can quickly become an entire bottle, and drinking too much alcohol might make for an impossibly slurred book-club discussion or lead to an unfortunate party incident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14 million U.S. women participate in binge drinking at least once a month. The definition of binge drinking is consuming at least four drinks in a single session, so you can avoid this issue if you put the cork back in your bottle of wine within the first three glasses. Unfortunately, binge drinking can have a tremendously negative impact on women.
In fact, binge drinking poses a bigger health risk for women than for men, and men can drink more alcohol in a day without crossing over the line into binge drinking. As unfair as all of this is, it does not change the fact that we all need to remain aware of our daily alcohol consumption.
What are the Health Risks?
The CDC reports that women who binge drink will have an increased risk of developing heart problems and liver disease. Additionally, drinking excessively can actually cause a woman's brain to shrink, and this can lead to a long list of issues, including memory loss.
The risk of developing liver, breast, colon, throat, mouth and esophageal cancer is also greatly increased by drinking too much alcohol. Therefore, it is always a good idea to stick with only one drink or two drinks per session, and it would be beneficial to avoid drinking on a daily basis.
Aside from the unfortunate reality of getting a hangover, the most common issue that people experience after binge drinking is the diminished ability to make good decisions. This leads to more than a million DUI arrests each year, and getting behind the wheel while intoxicated could make it impossible to enjoy the rest of your retirement.
In fact, approximately 40 percent of the fatalities that happen during traffic accidents involve alcohol. Sadly, women tend to become intoxicated more quickly than men, so you might not be able to match the pace of a male companion without putting yourself at risk.
Should You Stop Drinking Altogether?
Although some people say that the best course of action is to avoid drinking altogether, this is not necessary if you are capable of properly utilizing moderation. After all, there is nothing wrong with sipping a cocktail with dinner, and it can be very relaxing to share a bottle of wine with friends. So, as long as you keep the health risks in the back of your mind and avoid binge drinking, you should be able to occasionally imbibe without worrying about all of the potential consequences.
Kari Lloyd is a writer and blogger who loves writing about food, relationships and those dreaded age issues.
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