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After the festive abundance of December January brings an editorial glut, of articles on how to detox. Like so many things the oldest remedies are often the simplest, but they are often overlooked as well.

The idea of a detox – cleansing, healing and fresh beginnings – is both practical and symbolic. It is practical because it is about changing our habits, usually in eating, drinking and exercise. It is symbolic because it responds to something deeper in us, psychological or spiritual cleansing and renewal, if you like. Getting out into the fresh air with regular walks combines all these elements, it is simple, practical and symbolic.

So rather than expensive or complicated detox regimes, simply make a pledge: 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day during January will build a new habit that’ll improve your quality of life in ways you can’t anticipate.

As you walk, embrace the solitude, enjoy the environment and just let your mind wander where it will. Don’t expect anything to ‘happen’, but trust the process and know that the benefits will follow. Walking provides physical exercise, contact with nature nourishes the spirit. Whether you call it ‘detox’ or not, there’s no better tonic than that.

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