How the EXPERTS stay healthy

The holiday season can seem like an obstacle course of pitfalls.  

From overindulgence and hangovers to the flu and feeling a bit stodgy, the festivities can take their toll. 

But that doesn't have to be the case. 

We spoke to doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers to find out their one killer tactic for staying healthy over Christmas. 

1. Rob Hobson, Registered Nutritionist and Healthspan Head of Nutrition

'Keep your gut healthy and eat to sleep'

Even with the best of intentions my gut can take a bit of a beating at Christmas time with all the rich food and extra sherries! With this in mind I take a daily probiotic to help keep my digestive system healthy and reduce the likelihood of becoming bloated. 

Stress can also be a problem for me at this time of year and this can impact on my sleep so I try to do what I can to get a good night's rest. 

Food-wise this means making sure my diet includes plenty of muscle-relaxing magnesium from nuts, seeds and green vegetables.

Rob Hobson tries to prioritize sleep as much as possible to lower his stress levels

Rob Hobson tries to prioritize sleep as much as possible to lower his stress levels

2. Dr Pixie McKenna, family doctor and Superdrug Health & Wellbeing Ambassador

'Avoid aspirin for a hangover'

Christmas is a time to kick back and relax but as a result routine tends to go out of the window! To avoid overeating try to limit eating between meals and don't go back for seconds. 

If you have had a very stodgy 'beige' food day (my downfall!), the following day double up your fibre content with lots of fruit and veg. 

Come January my surgery is full of constipated patients and Christmas is the classic time for the gut to become slow so keep it moving with fibrous fruit and veg, plenty of water and exercise. 

I also say avoid aspirin or ibuprofen for a hangover as they can irritate an already fragile stomach. One handy but unglamorous item you shouldn't be without this Christmas is hand sanitiser. Handshakes, kisses under the mistletoe and everything else in between make it the season to spread germs as well as good will!'

If Dr Pixie McKenna has had a very stodgy 'beige' food day, the following day she doubles up her fiber content with lots of fruit and veg

If Dr Pixie McKenna has had a very stodgy 'beige' food day, the following day she doubles up her fiber content with lots of fruit and veg

3. Dr Hilary Jones, family doctor & Health Professional

'Don't be greedy!'

I try to think of the wine, canapés, mince pies and Christmas cake as alternative fuel. So, if I know I might indulge I will skip breakfast or lunch instead. Either that or I'll hit the gym or pool to compensate.

Ayurvedic Medicine talks about our digestive fire. It's like a little bonfire brightly burning in the pit of our stomach providing heat and energy for our body. Put a little log of food on it now and again and it will flareup and roar. Swamp it with a massive load of wet rotting rubbish and all you do is put the fire out and fill your gut with smoke and smolder leading to bloating and indigestion.

I don't want to go all spiritual on you, but I do think it's a cute little analogy if nothing else and it works for me. So ....happy Christmas and don't be too greedy.

If Dr Hilary Jones knows he might indulge, he will skip breakfast or lunch instead

If Dr Hilary Jones knows he might indulge, he will skip breakfast or lunch instead

4. Dr Dawn Harper, GP with a special interest in women's health

'Avoid eating standing up'

I offer to do more than my fair share of the driving so that I don't wrack up the alcohol units and I try not to eat standing up. 

All those canapés and nibbles are loaded with extra calories that can play havoc with my waistline!

When you eat standing up, you are more likely to eat too fast and mindlessly snack, Dr Dawn Harper says 

When you eat standing up, you are more likely to eat too fast and mindlessly snack, Dr Dawn Harper says 

5. Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Nutritionist

'Take the sunshine vitamin and keep a Christmas first aid box'

My biggest tip is to take a Vitamin D3 supplement during the whole of the winter to help avoid respiratory bugs at

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