13/12/2016 08:16 GMT | Updated 13/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Give Yourself The Gift Of Health This Christmas - And Get Rid Of The Guilt-Ridden Detox In The Process

There is a saying that goes: 'Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift - that is why it is called the present'.

And as Christmas approaches, the idea of doing things now that are important for yourself and those around you rings particularly true.

After all, it is easy to see why the 'season to be jolly' is usually followed by a guilt-ridden January as the decisions to over-consume and reduce physical activity overtake more mindful behaviours.

Last year some 10 million turkeys were consumed in the UK, £2.31 billion spent on alcohol in bars, pubs and clubs during December, with the average person adding an extra 2kg to their waistline during this time.

The tradition of excess over the festive season has resulted in a tradition of the January detox - a short period of healthy eating and active living to eliminate toxins from the body.

However, there really is some good news for those who dread the idea of January and giving up everything in order to purge the body.

In fact, the whole idea of 'detox' is a myth. Our bodies already deal with toxic chemicals in the body on a daily basis, through organs like the liver and kidneys. We also possess an excellent body-wide system, the lymphatic system, that eliminates cellular debris and waste from the body.

Good movement and good breath action is key to stimulating and encouraging movement through the body's natural filtration systems and delivering fluid through the blood system. This is one of the reasons why activities like hot yoga is so effective at 'cleaning' the body.

Hot yoga, a form of yoga practiced in a room heated to 42˚C, allows the whole body to stretch and compresses key areas of the body, especially the trunk where organs like the kidneys and liver are located.

The heat is beneficial in that it promotes a good, steady and effective breath.

But the great news is that while this kind of 'mindful movement' is very useful in keeping health in check this Christmas it does not necessarily require a trip to the gym or even your local yoga or hot yoga studio.

People need to remember that movement is usually really easy. A walk after a heavy meal or even just doing some simple yoga stretches and poses sitting on the floor in front of the TV with family and friends.

By just focusing on some simple activities you can also combat stress, which is another health issue that raises its head during this time. A bit of quiet time in between all the activity can go a long way to ease the tension in your mind.

It's during quiet moments we develop the head-space to find solutions to stressful situations or even recognise the good and bad in the food choices we are making, be it in type or quantity.

Tuning in and making these small but sensible decisions on a regular basis is far better for you than going from feast to famine through a short-term 'detox' and can lead you to much longer and rewarding path to continued wellbeing. And that really is a gift worth giving.