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Celebrity Health - Dr Hilary Jones

A photo of Dr Hilary Jones

Doctor's orders!

GP and medical broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones can often be found on our TV screens dispensing health advice, but here he talks to Your Healthy Living about his own health and fitness regime.

Q: As a GP you are an expert on health and wellbeing, but how do you keep yourself fit and healthy?

Dr Hilary: “I try to practise what I preach and enjoy a healthy lifestyle but I don’t do this with any obsessional forethought or planning as it has simply become a part of my way of life over many years. I eat a healthy and varied diet, and eat most things.

I have thankfully not acquired a taste for very fatty, very salty processed foods and I like nothing more than beautifully cooked fresh fish with Mediterranean vegetables or even a good tender fillet steak with peppercorn sauce. Of course I eat French fries and naughty treats now and again but I offset the downside of that with regular exercise involving squash, swimming, running or gym work at least every other day.”

Q: You obviously like to keep fit, having run several marathons and taken part in Dancing on Ice. Can you tell us about your current exercise regime?

Dr Hilary: “I play squash with my younger brother and my second eldest son on a regular basis. I have a small gym at home. I enjoy running through the local forest near my home, and I have access to an excellent swimming pool at two clubs where I am a member. I would miss exercise very much if I couldn’t do it and if I was unemployed I would certainly be doing a triathlon some time soon.

I don’t worry about my health but I do feel influenced at times as a result of the consequence of diminishing youth. My need for glasses has been totally removed by the fantastic results of blended laser vision with the help of Professor Dan Reinstein at the London Vision Clinic and I keep my joints going by keeping my muscles around them fairly strong.”

Q: As the ageing population in Britain continues to grow, would you say that the British people are paying more attention to their health than before?

Dr Hilary: “We have an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes and more people are finding it difficult to cope with psychological problems which they should be able to overcome. The fact that people are living longer at the moment means that they just have longer to suffer with the consequences of not looking after themselves whilst they’re young.

I believe that being healthy and feeling well and happy should be natural. I am totally opposed to the current medicalization of things such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes when a bit more self discipline and good living could make such a huge difference. The money that could be saved by everybody adopting this approach would run into tens of millions. It would also explode this myth that there is a pill for every ill. All pills have side effects, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t.”

Q: What is your opinion on complementary therapies?

Dr Hilary: “I think some complementary therapies have an excellent place in mainstream medicine. I myself use osteopathy in my mainstream practice to great effect and it means that often people can remove any pain and discomfort from their spine without recourse to medicines which can have nasty side effects. I also think that acupuncture, meditation and even aromatherapy and massage have a good place whilst other so-called complementary therapies may be worse than useless.

It is dangerous to pretend that you can diagnose through examination of the iris (iridology) and wrong to claim that you can diagnose allergies in adults or children through kinesiology, Vega testing or hair analysis. These so-called alternative therapies are frankly dangerous, with no scientific proof behind them whatsoever.”

Q: You are currently working with Lepicol to educate the public on the importance of bowel health. Why is it so important to keep the gut in good working order?

Dr Hilary: “Not many people realise that the gut is the seat of more than 70% of our body’s immunity and that there are central connections between the gut and the central nervous system.

Millions of people are plagued by the inconvenience of digestive disorders but much of this could be alleviated by maintaining a good balance of friendly bacteria within the intestine and having smooth regular intestinal function. Lepicol do a great job in producing products which help people with all kinds of different intestinal dysfunction and they are a highly reputable company backed by years of robust academic research.”

Q: What are your top tips for good digestion?

Dr Hilary: “My tips include eating little and often, enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods, avoiding excess stress and taking regular exercise.”

Q: If you could give the readers of Your Healthy Living just one tip for good health, what would it be?

Dr Hilary: “My one tip would be exercise, exercise, exercise. This is the very best insurance policy for future good health.

It lifts your spirits and keeps your heart and lungs healthy, sharpens your reflexes, reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol and has many other useful benefits besides.”

Dr Hilary Jones has been working with the Lepicol range to help educate consumers on the importance of good bowel health. Lepicol is a three-in-one combination of soluble plant fibre known as Psyllium Husks, Inulin (Prebiotics) and probiotic cultures.

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