Southampton surgeons and GPs have shared their top tips on staying healthy after chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty published a major report.

In his report, Prof Whitty warns that the UK is facing an ageing crisis with health issues emerging in deprived areas 10 years before the rest of the population.

He also warned that the latest data shows those living in rural and coastal areas – such as Southampton - are set to age rapidly.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Chris Waller, from Practice Plus Group at Royal South Hants Hospital, said that winter colds can have an adverse effect on your joints.

Daily Echo: Orthopaedic Surgeon, Chris WallerOrthopaedic Surgeon, Chris Waller (Image: Practice Plus Group)He said: “There are a few factors that may explain why your joints hurt during winter. In cold weather, the synovial fluid in joints which helps with shock absorption and lubrication, becomes thicker and less effective making the joints stiffer.

“In addition, in cold weather there is low barometric (atmospheric pressure) which causes tissue expansion around the joint and can cause swelling and pain- this is the same effect as when your feet and legs swell up on long flights.

“Nerves are also more sensitive to cold temperatures, and lack of physical activity is bad for your joints. We generally do less exercise in the cold.

“If you can’t keep your home warm, stay warm in layers of clothes and stay active with regular exercise.

“Walking every day will reduce stiffness and improve muscle strength.

“Equally, eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep improves joint pain, and take simple but regular pain medication if needed.”

Southampton GP, Dr Marjorie Gillespie, said that one key area that affects much of your health is to manage your weight.

She added: “Keep your weight to recommended levels.  BMI charts may be considered controversial by some, but they are a good guide as to where you should aim to be. 

“To get there, cut down your portion size because as plates have got bigger, people have got bigger.

“Adding extra weight puts more of a challenge on everything, from your hips and knees to your heart and liver.”